“There’s no question it came up tough,” Milt Wolfson, trainer of Trip for A. J., said. “They’re all going to have to show up, aren’t they?”
“I’ll be much happier leading her over from her stall than I was shipping,” Wolfson said. “A couple of those mornings, when we had to send her to Gulfstream, it was hot, and going on the van and such, I think it affected her.”
Trip for A. J. didn’t perform to her usual standards in any of those races, and in her last start the daughter of Trippi suffered the worst defeat of her career when last of eight in the $70,000 Wait a While Stakes.
“She hit the rail (on the turn) pretty bad that day,” Wolfson said. “She was a little sore in the shoulder the next day. But that’s long over and she’s training great. She’ll get a chance to run her race on Friday.”
Trip for A. J. will find a familiar foe in Friday’s feature as Romacaca, who bested Trip for A. J. by 1 ½ lengths when those two met in last year’s $55,000 Sara’s Success on Calder turf, makes her first start under the care of new trainer Luis Ramirez.
A 12-time winner from 26 lifetime starts, Romacaca is the lone graded stakes winner in Friday’s feature with a Grade 3 triumph in last year’s Matchmaker at Monmouth Park on her résumé.
The unknown factor in the Friday feature is the unbeaten Panamanian import Amor de Palacio, who has yet to be defeated in 12 career starts and will make her domestic debut for trainer Marty Wolfson.
The Florida-bred daughter of Cashel Castle tallied her signature wins to date in the Group 1 Clásico Dia de la Madre at Hipódromo Presidente Remón in December and the prestigious Copa Internacional Sprinters Yeguas at the Hipódromo La Rinconada in Venezuela last August.
Other stakes winners in the field include Island Time, winner of the $100,000 Desert Vixen on the Monmouth Park turf in 2010; Prize Informant, who won the $55,000 Regal Gal on Calder dirt last May; and Callmethesqueeze, the 2011 heroine of the $75,000 Judy’s Red Shoes over the Calder green.
The stakes-placed participants in the Friday feature are Performing, third to Romacaca and Trip for A. J. in last year’s Sara’s Success, and Snow Trial, runner-up in last year’s $55,000 Ms Brookski. Approximate post time is 5:10 p.m.