Highlighting the Calder Meet was the 13th edition of the Summit of Speed on July 7. Thoroughbred racing’s fastest day saw Pinnacle Racing Stables and Bill Kaplan’s Musical Romance, the 2011 Eclipse Award winning champion female sprinter and defending Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint heroine, made amends for a neck defeat in last year’s running of the Grade 1 Princess Rooney Handicap when prevailing by a half-length in the 2012 renewal.
Always a proving ground for young horses, the 2-year-old program in south Florida flourished again during the Calder Meet with the August 26 Juvenile Showcase program providing the backdrop for Florida Stallion Stakes victories by Putyourdreamsaway and D’nied Permission, in addition to a memorable 13 ¾-length triumph in the Seacliff Stakes by the highly-promising Sr. Quisqueyano.
The Calder Meet once again proved to be a playground for jockey Luis Saez as the young rider stormed to his third straight riding title, climbing atop the table in late April and never relinquishing that spot en route to a 127-win season. Saez also entered the Calder record books on August 11 when becoming just the ninth rider in the 41-year history of the track to win six races on a single car
The race for leading trainer at the Calder Meet came down to the final day as Giuseppe Iadisernia bested Kirk Ziadie by a count of 29 victories to 28. Iadisernia went atop the training table on the second day of racing and retained that position throughout the remainder of the meet with the exception of a one-race period on Friday, August 30, when Ziadie went in front by one.
Two-time Tropical Meet leading owner Frank C. Calabrese was the runaway leading owner at the 2012 Calder Meet with 39 wins.
The 2012 Calder Meet also featured the unveiling of the Calder Starter Series, a four-race event held in April and May with each race offering a rich purse of $50,000 in addition to a $5,000 bonus awarded to the trainer of the horse that had accumulated the most points upon completion of the series.
Brooklyn Farm’s Homeboykris, Blue Top Holdings Stable’s Grand Cash, Lakshmi Rattan’s Fair Whit, and Buckeye Stable’s Liberty Cap were all winners in the Starter Series, but it was Henry Collazo that captured the $5,000 bonus when Alberto’s Milano Power Rules posted two second-place finishes to win the series.
Notable dates on the Tropical Meet calendar include the longstanding Festival of the Sun program, featuring five stakes with estimated purses of $850,000 on October 13; the Florida Million card, an eight-race showcase for Florida-bred horses on November 10; and a pair of graded-stakes doubleheaders featuring the Grade 2 W. L. McKnight Stakes and the Grade 3 Fred W. Hooper on November 24, and the Grade 3 La Prevoyante and Grade 3 Tropical Turf Handicap on closing day November 30.
First race post time during the Tropical Meet is 12:30 p.m. A special holiday program of live racing will be held in observance of Labor Day on Monday, September 3, and Wednesday racing will be added to the schedule beginning September 12.