“She was doing it all on her own,” trainer Bill Kaplan said. “She really gets a lot out of her work in the morning, so bringing her up to the race this year without a real prep hasn’t been that much different. She’s perfectly fit for the race.”
“Being at home for this race takes a lot of the pressure off that comes with shipping and having to deal with a different racetrack,” Kaplan said. “I’m still interested in seeing who is coming. There were some good solid horses nominated to the race, and once you put them in the gate anything can happen. But I am confident.”
Musical Romance finished second in last year’s Princess Rooney where she was beaten a neck for everything by Sassy Image.
GOLD BREEZES SUMMIT STARTERS
Trainer Stanley Gold sent a trio of Summit of Speed hopefuls to the track Friday morning to log their final morning workouts in advance of the July 7 races.
Fort Loudon, scheduled to contest the Grade 3 Carry Back, worked a half-mile in :49.40 while expected Grade 3 Azalea entrants Redbud Road and Awesome Belle covered the same four-furlong distance, with Redbud Road stopping the timer in :50.40 and Awesome Belle clocking in at :52.40.
“All three came back good and we’re still on target for next week’s races,” Gold said.
Fort Loudon will enter the Carry Back on a two-race winning streak, having won the $75,000 In Summation Stakes and the $75,000 Unbridled Stakes in his two most recent outings. The colt is a six-time winner in nine starts at Calder, which includes a three-race sweep of the Florida Stallion Stakes in 2011.
Redbud Road won the $75,000 French Village Stakes in mid-May but exits a disappointing seventh-place finish in the Leave Me Alone Stakes, while Awesome Belle crossed the wire seventh in the French Village and was fourth in the Leave Me Alone.
SAY A NOVENA PREPS FOR AZALEA
The Eddie Plesa-trained Say a Novena, a 3-year-old filly that was a regular on the Calder work tab for much of the spring but has yet to compete over the local track, worked five furlongs on Friday in advance of her first Calder start in the Azalea. The daughter of Songandaprayer worked five furlongs in 1:02.
“She worked this morning and everything went one-hundred percent well,” Plesa said when reached by phone at Monmouth Park Friday morning. “I plan on coming down Thursday.”
A three-time winner in 11 starts, including stakes triumphs in the $150,000 Brandywine Stakes at Parx Racing and the $75,000 Colleen Stakes at Monmouth Park, Say a Novena exits a distant fourth-place finish in the $60,000 Crank It Up Stakes, which was run over five furlongs of Monmouth turf.
“We just wanted to see how she would handle the grass,” Plesa said. “That’s all it was.”
Plesa confirmed that jockey Manoel Cruz, who was aboard Say a Novena for Friday’s work, will have the race-day mount.