Mambo Meister, winner of the Spend A Buck Handicap (G3) on dirt in his last appearance at Calder in the fall, came from off the pace in the Miami Mile to get the eight furlongs over firm turf in 1:35.04. He passed Pinckney Hill, who was helping to set the early pace, in deep stretch. It was another three-quarters of a length back to a fast-closing Pleasant Strike in third place.
Winning trainer’s quotes:
Phil Gleaves — “We’ve given him breaks (time off) before, but this time we sent him to Plumley Farm (Ocala) for 30 days and I think it did him a world of good. This field came up tougher than I would have thought, so I’m very pleased with him. In his last race (Canadian Turf at Gulfstream on Feb. 22) I think the turf was a little harder than he prefers. We’ve already talked it over and decided that he’ll stay here for the ($100,000) Memorial Day race (May 31) on the main track next. He loves it here.”
Winning jockey’s quotes:
Manoel Cruz – “Mr. Gleaves told me that it was up to me to decide where I wanted this horse to be positioned in this race. I appreciate that because I know the horse and in my opinion the pace doesn’t matter because whether it is fast or slow up front, he has the same strong late kick. I just waited and let him get in stride and tell me when he was ready to move.”