MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (June 19, 2008) - Trainer Phil Gleaves sent out Joe Straus, Jr. and Andrew Novak’s homebred 3-year-old filly Alpha Charmer to capture the $75,000 Georgia Oaks at Calder Race Course on Sunday, and appears to have the favorite in the next feature on the schedule with James R. Cavanaugh and Chris Pallas’ 3-year-old gelding Mambo Meister entered in Saturday’s $36,000 Lord Juban overnight stakes.
Jockey Ariel Smith gets the call on Mambo Meister in the 1 1/16 miles turf test, facing seven rival 3-year-olds after an impressive three-length victory in the Ride the Rails overnight going 1 1/16 miles on the main track here last out on May 18. The race was his first since finishing a good fourth behind Nistle’s Crunch and Cool Gator in a Gulfstream Park allowance on Mar. 1.
“One reason this is a good spot for him is to get him back on the grass. He ran well to finish third in both of his starts on turf here last year and his pedigree says he’s painted green,” said Gleaves, referring to the sire King Cugat (by Kingmambo) and dam (by Desert Secret). The Kentucky homebred blew out a sharp three furlongs on turf here Monday in 35 3/5.
The most dangerous rival for Mambo Meister Saturday may be Charles Fontana’s Unbridled Heat with jockey Jermaine Bridgmohan named to ride. The roan/gray son of Unbridled Time finished third behind Mambo Meister last out in the Ride the Rails, and ran well on turf in his previous try when fourth in the Jackie Wackie overnight behind accomplished turf runners Fearless Eagle and Mysterious Peintre.
Completing the field for the Lord Juban are Harry Orgo’s Broadway Actor, Segundo Caballero; Jack or Better Farm’s Casino Gambler, Eduardo Nunez; Thorobeam Farm’s Thunder Louie, Juan Leyva; J D Farms’ Dulansky, Javier Santiago; Carolyn Chapman’s Atlantic Paws, Eddie Dominguez; and Joel Sainer’s Joey the Scholar, Manny Aguilar.
Turf Million Stars in Action this Weekend in Virginia & Canada
Several of the stars from Calder Race Course’s inaugural Turf Million program on Apr. 26 will see action in major events this weekend, including Jon and Sarah Kelly’s 3-year-old Sporting Art, winner of the $200,000 Calder Derby (G3), and Stronach Stable’s 3-year-old filly Ginger Brew, who captured the $200,000 Calder Oaks.
Sporting Art is entered in Saturday’s $600,000 Colonial Turf Cup (G3) at Colonial Downs in Virginia for trainer Christophe Clement with his rivals including Live Oak Plantation’s El Sultry Sun, third behind Sporting Art in the Calder race for trainer John Kimmel.
Both have run once since then with Sporting Art a disappointing fifth as the odds-on choice in the Arlington Classic at Arlington Park on May 24 and El Sultry Sun winner of the Lamplighter Stakes over the Monmouth Park course on May 25.
Ginger Brew also has run once since her impressive Calder victory, romping to a six-length victory in the $500,000 Woodbine Oaks on June 8 for trainer Brian Lynch, and the homebred daughter of Milwaukee Brew is entered back in Sunday’s historic $1 million Queen’s Plate at Woodbine against colts.
Also entered Saturday at Colonial Downs with Calder connections are a trio of fillies and mares in the $200,000 All Along Stakes (G3). Trainer Marty Wolfson has Edmund Gann’s 4-year-old French-bred filly Eclisse and Howard Roberts Farm’s 5-year-old mare Dancing Band in the All Along, each a winner of their last start over the Calder course.
Clement has Virginia Kraft Payson’s 4-year-old homebred filly Rutherienne entered in the All Along. The daughter of Pulpit also may be entered in the $250,000 New York Stakes (G2) that afternoon at Belmont Park. Rutherienne is ranked among the leaders of the filly and mare turf stakes division nationally and is three-for-three during her career at Calder.