Coa & O’Connell Lead Tropical Standings into Final Week

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (Dec. 26, 2009) – Only six racing days remain until the Tropical Meet at Calder Casino & Race Course closes next Saturday (Jan. 2) and jockey Eibar Coa and trainer Kathleen O’Connell hold narrow leads in their respective title chases, although both have rivals within striking distance with a good week.

Coa leads the riders with 58 victories, three more than Manoel Cruz second at 55 as the latter continues his bid for a third straight and fourth overall Tropical session championship. Apprentice Luis Saez ranks third with 46 tallies, followed by Luis Arango fourth at 22 and Eduardo Nunez fifth at 20.

Cruz will have a big chance to close ground Saturday afternoon as Coa travels to New York for the day to ride Off The Hook Racing’s 3-year-old Pashito the Che in the $65,000 Gravesend Handicap at Aqueduct for trainer Scott Lake. Coa has ridden the son of Flatter to win stakes in his last two starts, most recently the $150,000 Jack Dudley Sprint at Calder on Florida Million day, Nov. 14.

O’Connell, bidding for her first ever training title here, leads the standings with 16 wins, two more than Steve Dwoskin second with 14. Marty Wolfson and Henry Collazo are tied for third one more back at 13 apiece and Bill White is still in with a chance in fifth with 12 tallies.

Girl Bar Likely Choice in Monday Allowance Feature

Owner-trainer Wesley Ward’s 2-year-old Florida homebred filly Girl Bar went wire-to-wire for an impressive four-length victory going five furlongs on the turf at Churchill Downs last out on Nov. 12, and may rule the favorite going the same distance over the course at Calder Casino & Race Course in Monday’s ‘a other than’ allowance feature.

Apprentice jockey Luis Saez gets the call on Girl Bar in a field of 10 with three others on the ‘also-eligible’ list. A daughter of Atticus, Girl Bar was making her fourth career start when racing for a $50,000 claiming tag in the Churchill dash. After a winning debut at Gulfstream Park on Apr. 1, she didn’t run again until a game runner-up effort in the $100,000 Fasig-Tipton Turf Dash against colts here at Calder on Aug. 29.

Another contender with winning experience sprinting on turf in Monday’s race is Frank Calabrese’s Dreamingofjosephine, who made her first two starts trained by Wesley Ward. Jockey Elvis Trujillo gets the call on Monday for trainer Danny Miller. The daughter of El Corredor broke her maiden going five furlongs on turf at Arlington Park on Sept. 26 by 3 ¾ lengths in her fourth start.

Completing the field are Richard Ravin’s Ravin in the Heat, ELIJEN Stables’ Kathy’s Ribbons, Half Moon Racing’s Slavic Princess, Just For Fun Stable’s Seattle Zip, Dean DeRenzo and Randy Hartley’s Myakka City, Elaine Rosas-Canessa’s For Marimar, Dale Howard’s Lady Carlotta and Buckingham Stables’ Ocean Surge.

Francis Paolangeli’s Smart City Doc, Elite Racing Partners’ Indulgence and Half Moon Racing’s Mioca are on the ‘also-eligible’ list.

Hear Ye Hear Ye Leads Strong Calder Juvenile Team to Tampa Bay

Jacks or Better Farms’ 2-year-old homebred Hear Ye Hear Ye was impressive winning the $150,000 Jack Price Juvenile at Calder on Florida Million day, Nov. 14, by1 ¾ lengths as a 20-to-1 longshot for trainer Stanley Gold with Farnsworth Stables and Kramer Stables’ Mr. Green odds-on favorite third, and the two promising juveniles will have a rematch this afternoon at Tampa Bay Downs in the $75,000 Inaugural Stakes.

Also making the trip north from Calder to run this afternoon is Rose Family Stable’s 2-year-old homebred filly Joanie’s Catch with jockey Paco Lopez going along for the ride as one of the favorites in the $75,000 Sandpiper Stakes.

Trained by Barry Rose, Joanie’s Catch is a daughter of First Tour that finished second in the $150,000 Joe O’Farrell Juvenile Fillies on Florida Million day and came back with a game third-place finish in the $500,000 Delta Princess Stakes in Louisiana on Dec. 4, beaten a photo for second.

Joanie’s Catch’s rivals include two other Calder stakes-winning 2-year-old fillies this season – Shirley Duco’s Criolla Bonita, winner of the $75,000 Cassidy Stakes last out on Oct. 17 and Angel Quiroz’ Rosebud’s Ridge, who captured the $150,000 Susan’s Girl Division of the Florida Stallion Stakes in late August.