Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Point Determined Entered in Friday Allowance Feature at Calder
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (July 21, 2008) – St. George Stable’s 5-year-old Point Determined was last seen under colors finishing a well-beaten seventh behind Strong Contender and Lawyer Ron in the Super Derby (G2) at Louisiana Downs in September of 2006 for the Bob and Beverly Lewis Trust with Bob Baffert as trainer.
Runner-up in the Santa Anita Derby (G1) and ninth in the Kentucky Derby (G1) earlier that season, Point Determined has re-surfaced at Calder Race Course in the care of the meet’s current leading trainer Kirk Ziadie, and is entered in Friday’s ‘money’ allowance feature at six furlongs with jockey Ariel Smith named to ride in the in the field of seven older horses.
Returning from the lengthy layoff will be a lot to ask of Point Determined, particularly since he faces such established stakes-class sprinters as Trilogy Stable’s Yesbyjimminy, Paco Lopez; Rolbea Thoroughbreds’ Finallymadeit, Manoel Cruz; and Joseph Balsamo’s Weigelia, Jeffrey Sanchez.
Yesbyjimminy is a 4-year-old homebred son of Yes It’s True trained by Eddie Plesa, Jr. with earnings of $321,000 and one of his best races came in the Carry Back Stakes (G2) on ‘Summit of Speed’ day last year when third to Black Seventeen and Teuflesburg. He has made three starts this year, and appeared to return to top form last out winning a ‘money’ allowance going seven furlongs on July 11, a race in which Point Determined was entered but scratched.
Finallymadeit has tired badly in his last two starts for trainer Javier Negrete, finishing 10th in the Ponche Handicap in June and a non-threatening seventh behind Benny the Bull in the Smile Sprint Handicap (G2) on July 12. However, the 4-year-old homebred by Concerto deserves respect for his 3-year-old campaign when he won eight races and earned $362,000.
Weigelia is a 7-year-old veteran with career earnings of more than $1 million, but has been struggling to regain his form in three starts at this meet for trainer Leo Azpurua, Jr. Developed here early in his career by Leo’s uncle Manny Azpurua, Weigelia scored his biggest victory as a 3-year-old on ‘Summit’ day in 2004 in the Carry Back Stakes and continued to be successful when based in Maryland with trainer Michael Trombetta.
Completing the field for Friday’s intriguing feature are C. Robert Valeri’s Roman Candles, Javier Santiago; Monarch Stable’s B L’s a Runner, Eduardo Nunez; and Rose Family Stable’s Rexson’s Rose, Segundo Caballero.
Calder Weekend Cards All in the Ziadie Family
Veteran horseman Ralph Ziadie sent out the winners of the first two races on Saturday’s program at Calder Race Course, including Sir Bear’s half-sister Fancy Stepper to break her maiden; and his son Kirk came back to dominate the Sunday action, sending out three winners, including Richard Averill’s longshot 5-year-old Gaston A. in the $55,000 Gene’s Big Sky overnight stakes.
Kirk, 40, extended his lead in the trainers’ standings at the meet to six over closest pursuer Dan Hurtak (26-20) as Ziadie defends his 2007 Calder Meet title. He also bids for a fourth straight meet title here, having collected the last two Tropical Meet trophies as well. Eddie Plesa, Jr. currently ranks third with 19 tallies.
The competition for leading rider honors has turned into a day-to-day rivalry between veteran Manoel Cruz and apprentice Paco Lopez with only a single winner separating the two after the weekend action. Cruz was Calder Meet champion in 2003 and 2006 and runner-up last year to Elvis Trujillo.
However, the top two may soon face a fresh challenge from 30-year-old Javier Santiago, a newcomer to Calder this season that has become established with several of the top stables and ranks third in the standings with 52 victories. Eduardo Nunez is well back in fourth with 41 winners.
Santiago, a native of Carolina, Puerto Rico, has won more than 2,000 races in his career, most in Puerto Rico, and rode at Delaware Park and at California tracks before settling in at Calder this summer. His most notable victory at the meet so far came aboard Live Oak Plantation’s Rockerfeller in the $100,000 Ponche Handicap for trainer Marty Wolfson in June.
Santiago rode Rockerfeller back in the $400,000 Smile Sprint Handicap (G2) on ‘Summit of Speed’ day, July 12 and he finished a respectable third behind national division leader Benny the Bull after making a bold bid in the upper stretch.
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