Both sprint stars arrived in South Florida Tuesday on a Tex Sutton Forwarding charter flight from New York and Looky Yonder was given a test over the Calder track Thursday morning, breezing an easy three-eighths in 38 3/5 under assistant trainer and exercise rider Michelle Nevin. Hall of Fame jockey Edgar Prado will be on hand to ride both Dutrow stars on Saturday.
In races set immediately before and after the four Graded stakes worth $1.3 million on Saturday’s ‘Summit of Speed’ program at Calder Race Course, a number of the leading 2-year-olds developed here early this summer will line up for the $55,000 Frank Gomez Memorial and $55,000 J J’s Dream to be run at six furlongs, the latter restricted to fillies.
J. Robert Harris, Jr.’s Bee Cee Cee has emerged as the top colt unveiled at the session, winning both of his starts for trainer Eddie Plesa, Jr., and should rule the favorite in a field of eight colts and geldings in the Frank Gomez Memorial with Edgar Prado picking up the mount.
Purchased for $200,000 at the OBS February 2-year-old sales, Bee Cee Cee is by Songandaprayer and won his debut by 3 ¾ lengths going 4 ½ furlongs in late April and came back to score by four lengths in the BLs Sweep overnight stakes on June 15 at five furlongs. Plesa also sends out Padua Stable’s Ideal Exchange with Manuel Aguilar in the saddle after the gelding by Exchange Rate finished second to Bee Cee Cee in the BLs Sweep.
Two others in the field for the Frank Gomez were very impressive debut winners with Soldi Stable’s Sabi Sabi, also by Songandprayer, romping home by 5 ¾ lengths on June 7 for trainer Jose Garoffalo; and Dianne Waldron’s For All Who Conga, by Congaree, scoring by 2 ½ lengths on June 15 for trainer Bill White. Jockey Javier Santiago rides Sabi Sabi and Elvis Trujillo picks up the mount on For All Who Conga.
Completing the field for the Frank Gomez Memorial are Stride Rite Stable and NTS Stable’s Purely by Chance, Jacks or Better Farm’s Stamen, Teresa and David Palmer’s D.C.’s Legacy, Moscow Nights LLC’s Meshuga, Lisa & Lloyd Carnes’ Code Runner, Monarch Stables’ B L’s Noise, and Ronald Morgan’s Red Nation.
Brenda Tabraue’s La Chica Sensual is the only two-time winner among seven 2-year-old fillies entered in the J J’s Dream, but also the only one to have started more than once. Jockey Ray Fuentes gets a return call on La Chica Sensual for trainer Pablo Andrade. A roan/gray daughter of Lightnin N Thunder, she won her debut for a $40,000 claiming tag in late May and her second outing in a starter/allowance on June 26.
Completing the field for the J J’s Dream are Joel Kligman’s Jungle Jill, New Life Stable’s Hopeful Image, Jacks or Better Farm’s Garter Belt, Sterling Stables’ Shabacchi, Janet Erwin and Terry Oliver’s Additional Prayer and Stride Rite Racing Stable and NTS Stable’s Tiger’s Song.
Prado & Baze among Eight Jockeys Flying in for ‘Summit’ Mounts
The four Graded stakes worth $1.3 million to be run on Saturday’s ‘Summit of Speed’ program at Calder Race Course attracted a total of 31 entries with 14 shipping in from major racing centers across North America, and eight jockeys are also scheduled to make the trip for one or more mounts in the rich events.
Jockey Edgar Prado has mounts in all four of the Graded stakes, including Benny the Bull and Looky Yonder for trainer Rick Dutrow, as he looks forward to his well-deserved induction into the National Museum of Racing & Hall of Fame next month in Saratoga Springs, New York. Prado has had four mounts in the ‘Big Four’ stakes here previously, all in 2006, winning the Carry Back Stakes (G2) aboard Too Much Bling for trainer Bob Baffert.
Veteran Hall of Famer Russell Baze has made the trip to the ‘Summit’ twice previously in 2005 and 2006, most notably for the winning mount on Lost in the Fog in the Carry Back the first time and back the next summer to ride the Eclipse Award sprinter to a disappointing ninth-place finish in the Smile Sprint Handicap (G2), a race that turned out to be the ill-fated champion’s career finale.
Baze also rode 3-year-old filly Victorina to win the 2006 Azalea Breeders’ Cup (G3) and continues to extend his career record total as North America’s all-time leader in winners with 10,204 through July 8. Prado ranks 15th on that list with 6,087 victories. Baze’s principal mount will be Indyanne for trainer Greg Gilchrist, who guided the careers of Lost in the Fog and Victorina for recently deceased owner and long-time friend and client Harry Aleo.
A victory aboard Mach Ride in the Smile Sprint Handicap (G2) and fourth-place finish aboard 6-year-old mare Maryfield in the Princess Rooney Handicap (G1) on ‘Summit’ day last year did much to buoy the career of jockey Elvis Trujillo, who returns from his summer base this year at Monmouth Park with mounts in all four of the Graded stakes.
Trujillo, 24, was based at Calder the last two years, finishing second in the 2006 Calder Meet standings behind veteran Manoel Cruz and winning the title last year. After missing much of the Gulfstream Park meet with an injury early this year, he rode here the first two weeks of this meet during his comeback before moving on to Churchill Downs and then Monmouth.
Trainer Doug O’Neill and Maryfield’s owners were sufficiently impressed by Trujillo’s ride in the Princess Rooney that they retained him for the final two starts of her campaign as she won the Ballerina Handicap (G1) at Saratoga and inaugural Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint at Monmouth Park, sealing an Eclipse Award season.
The other jockeys flying in for mounts Saturday are Corey Nakatani and Victor Espinoza from Southern California, Jamie Theriot from Kentucky, Mario Gutierrez from Hastings Park near Vancouver, British Columbia, and Eibar Coa from New York. Coa won four Calder Meet titles and three Tropical Meet championships before moving on and currently ranks atop the Belmont Park standings.
Calder to Offer Super High-5 Wager Starting Saturday
Calder will begin offering the “Super Hi-5” wager this Saturday. Billed as “a new way to win big, and fast,” the Super Hi-5 challenges players to pick the top five finishers in order in the last race at Calder each day.
The Hi-5 is a $1 “carryover” bet where the pool gets bigger every day until someone gets it right. A “Betting Ideas” section for some Hi-5 betting strategies designed for budgets of every size is available on the Calder Web site at http://www.calderracecourse.com.
The Super Hi-5 will replace Superfecta wagering on the races on which the Super Hi-5 is offered. Superfectas will be offered on all other races.