MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (April 25, 2010) – Rose Family Stable’s 3-year-old Florida homebred filly Joanie’s Catch will board a van Monday morning at Calder Casino & Race Course for the approximately 1,000 mile trip to Louisville, Ky. for her engagement in Friday’s $500,000 Kentucky Oaks (G1) at Churchill Downs.
“She worked good here Friday and she’s ready to go,” said co-owner/breeder and trainer Barry Rose Sunday morning. “She’s always run her race and it looks like there should be plenty of speed in there for her to run at. Paco (Lopez) has ridden her in most of her races this year and will have the mount.”
Joanie’s Catch has finished second three times and twice third in as many starts this season, most recently checking in third in the Sophomore Fillies at Tampa Bay Downs on Apr. 3. In three Graded stakes starts at Gulfstream Park before that she finished second in the Old Hat (G3) at odds of 48-to-1, second in the Forward Gal (G2) at 27-to-1 and third in the Bonnie Miss Stakes (G2) at 12-to-1 behind Devil May Care.
Joanie’s Catch will likely go off at double-digit odds again in the Oaks Friday and one of the favorites she will face also was developed and began her career at Calder last year, but was subsequently sold privately and re-located to California.
A Kentucky-bred daughter of Pollard’s Vision, Blind Luck posted a sensational 13 ¼ lengths career debut victory going 4 ½ furlongs on June 21 last year for owner Juvenal Diaz and trainer Jim Hatchett, and was sold privately shortly thereafter to California-based partnership led by trainer Jerry Hollendorfer.
Blind Luck has since risen to rank among the nation’s most-accomplished of her age, winning the Oak Leaf Stakes (G1) and finishing third in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) at Santa Anita and winning the Hollywood Starlet (G1) by seven lengths in the fall.
In three starts this year, Blind Luck has won the Las Virgenes Stakes (G1) at Santa Anita, finished third as the odds-on choice in the Santa Anita Oaks (G1), beaten a half-length for it all, and posted a rather easy score last out in the Fantasy Stakes (G2) at Oaklawn Park on Apr. 2.
Calder’s possible representation in Saturday’s 136th Kentucky Derby (G1) is still pending with Robert LaPenta and Jacks or Better Farm’s Jackson Bend still on the ‘bubble’ on the Graded stakes earnings list to secure a berth in the maximum field of 20, although the defection of pre-race favorite Eskendereya Sunday morning should enhance his chances of getting into the field.
Jacks or Better Farm owner Fred Brei bred Jackson Bend in Florida and is from the first crop of his home stallion Hear No Evil. Developed at Calder by Jacks or Better trainer Stanley Gold, Jackson Bend swept the three ‘open’ divisions of the track’s Florida Stallion Stakes series and a majority interest was sold privately to LaPenta not long after.
Placed with trainer Nick Zito, Jackson Bend has finished second in all three of his starts this year – the Holy Bull Stakes (G3) and Fountain of Youth Stakes (G2) at Gulfstream Park and Wood Memorial (G1) at Aqueduct last out on Apr. 3, the last two races won by Eskendereya.
Another Calder-developed horse that may get to the post for the Derby is Louis Lazzinnaro and partners’ Homeboykris, although he would be a longshot for trainer Rick Dutrow after finishing fifth in the Holy Bull and second in an allowance race at Gulfstream in his only two starts this year.
A Maryland-bred by Roman Ruler, Homeboykris made his first two starts at Calder for trainer Pablo Andrade, finishing fourth in his debut and breaking his maiden by 3 ¼ lengths on July 11 before being sold privately. In two more starts last year, Homeboykris won the Champagne Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park and finished fifth in the Remsen Stakes (G2) at Aqueduct.
Duke of Mischief Kept on Edge with Sunday Breeze
Alex and Joann Lieblong and partners’ 4-year-old Duke of Mischief breezed a sharp half-mile in 49 flat for trainer and co-owner David Fawkes Sunday morning at Calder as he prepares for his next start, most likely to come in the $300,000 Lone Star Park Handicap (G3) in Texas on May 31.
Duke of Mischief is a chestnut colt by Graeme Hall bred in Florida by co-owner Marilyn McMaster and emerged as a major player in the 3-year-old division winning the $250,000 Iowa Derby at Prairie Meadows in late June by five lengths after an 11-length score in a Calder allowance a month before.
Duke of Mischief has won two of three starts this year, most recently capturing the $500,000 Oaklawn Handicap (G2) in Arkansas by 2 ½ lengths on Apr. 3 under regular rider Eibar Coa. Fawkes indicated another likely possible target after the Lone Star race could be a return trip to Iowa for the $300,000 Prairie Meadows Cornhusker Handicap (G2) on June 26.
Wildcat Frankie Favorite in Woodstock Saturday at Woodbine
One of the more brilliant 2-year-old debut performances of the 2009 season at Calder came from Monarch Stable’s gelding Wildcat Frankie as he coasted home to score by 15 ½ lengths going 5 ½ furlongs in 1:04 4/5 under jockey Paco Lopez for trainer Jim Hatchett on Dec. 12.
A Florida-bred by Wildcat Heir, Wildcat Frankie made three starts at Gulfstream earlier this season, finishing second in the Spectacular Bid Stakes, winning a one-mile allowance and tiring to sixth behind D’Funnybone in the Hutcheson Stakes (G2) on Feb. 20 after dueling for the lead through fast fractions.
Hatchett has since taken a small stable to race at Woodbine this summer, including Wildcat Frankie, who finished second in an allowance race there on Apr. 3 in his first start on the Polytrack surface there and comes back as the morning line favorite in Saturday’s $150,000 Woodstock Stakes at six furlongs.