Herman Van Den Broeck’s Angelica Zapata, a three-time stakes winner at Calder Casino & Race Course this year that was last seen as the dominant nine-length winner of the $75,000 Nancy’s Glitter Stakes in mid-July, will look to pick up where she left off when returning to meet six rivals in Saturday’s $75,000 Stage Door Betty Handicap, run at the distance of 1 1/16 miles on the main track.
Trained by Ron Pellegrini, the 4-year-old daughter of Sharp Humor is unbeaten in three starts over the Calder dirt, adding stakes victories in the $55,000 Emergency Nurse and the $55,000 Sara’s Success to her Nancy’s Glitter triumph.
With previous pilot Jose Ferrer now riding regularly at Parx Racing in Pennsylvania, local leading rider Luis Saez will inherit the mount aboard Angelica Zapata who is likely to go favored from post four on Saturday while carrying the top impost of 123 pounds.
Angelica Zapata is not the only filly in Saturday’s race that exits a stakes-winning effort in July as Gary Aiken’s Callmethesqueeze will return from the sidelines for the Stage Door Betty off an 11-week break, having won the $100,000 Hollywood Wildcat, which was run over the local lawn as part of the July 7 Summit of Speed program, in her last start.
That victory was the second of the year for the Manny Azpurua-trained filly, who also prevailed in a main-track sprint allowance in May.
Starting directly to the outside of Angelica Zapata in post five on Saturday, and getting a five-pound break from that rival at 118 pounds, Callmethesqueeze will be ridden by Jose Alvarez.
Although neither race was a stakes event, Miller Racing, LLC’s Beloveda enters the Stage Door Betty off consecutive victories, piecing together a pair of starter allowance sprint victories, to improve her record to four wins from six starts over the local dirt.
Trained by Marty Wolfson, the daughter of Ghostzapper has enjoyed success in both sprints and two-turn events, winning a one-mile starter allowance at Calder in May while also being Grade 3-placed over a route of ground following a second-place run in the Rampart Stakes at Gulfstream in March.
Assigned 119 pounds for the Saturday feature, Beloveda will be guided from post seven by jockey Hugo Sanchez, who picks up the mount from regular rider Saez as that one defects to the favorite.
Completing the field for the Stage Door Betty is Vicino Racing Stables, Inc. and Bill Kaplan’s Annie Roe, a starter allowance winner in her last start; Stride Rite Racing Stable, Inc.’s 3-year-old filly Frolic’s Revenge, a three-time stakes winner this year that returns just seven days after finishing a disappointing fifth in the Judy’s Red Shoes; the Estate of Chuck Miller Thoroughbreds’ Timezone, a three-time turf winner that has yet to compete on dirt; and Tonys Investments, LLC’s My Pal Chrisy, the winner of the 2011 Stage Door Betty.
The Saturday program at Calder will also feature the second leg of the Filly and Mare Division of the Tropical Starter Series, which drew a full field of 12 for the 7 ½-furlong turf test that carries a rich purse of $50,000.
With first-leg winner Beloveda opting for the Stage Door Betty, the only point-earner from leg one to make the body of Saturday’s race is Doble Jak Investment, LLC’s Flying Trip, who finished second in the opening round for trainer Gilberto Zerpa.
Sharon Marable’s Gob Smacked and Pinnacle Racing Stables’ Cool Vixen, the respective third and fourth-place finishers from the first leg, are both on the also-eligible list for the race.
First race post time at Calder on Saturday is 12:30 p.m. with the Stage Door Betty scheduled as race 10 at approximately 4:45 p.m. and the Tropical Starter Series slated for race 11 at 5:14 p.m.