After winning last year's $75,000 Memorial Handicap at Calder Casino & Race Course, Bruce Hollander & Cary Shapoff's Csaba return this Saturday in the hopes of a repeat.
Csaba raced behind Just For Fun Stable Inc.’s Decisive Moment who set the pace and held the lead in last year’s running until Csaba took over at the top of the stretch and cleared ahead to win by two lengths, while Decisive Moment dropped back to third. Csaba’s only other stakes win since the Memorial Handicap came in November at Calder when he won the 1 1/8-mile Grade 3 Fred W. Hooper Handicap for the second-straight year. He most recently finished third in the Grade III Miami Mile Handicap at Calder on April 19. Decisive Moment returns in this year’s Memorial Handicap to face Csaba yet again after finishing fourth in the Miami Mile in his most recent start. Decisive Moment has not had a stakes win since 2011 when he scored the 1-mile Delta Mile Stakes at Delta Downs.
Flatter This, who finished sixth in last year’s Memorial Handicap, comes into this year’s running off of a fifth-place finish in the Miami Mile. Rose Family Stable’s Joshua’s Comprise also returns after coming in fifth last year. In his most recent start on April 26, Joshua’s Comprise ran third in the 1 1/16-mile Best of the Rest Stakes at Gulfstream Park.
DDRD Racing, Inc.’s Sr. Quisqueyano finished second in the Best of the Rest in his most recent start. While Sr. Quisqueyano is a newbie to the Memorial Handicap, he is a multiple stakes winner at Calder, having won the 1-mile Seacliff Stakes in 2012 and the 1 1/8-mile Calder Derby in 2013. Hardway Stables’ Speak Logistics came sixth in the Best of the Rest. His only stakes win came at Calder in 2012 when he captured the 1 1/16-mile In Reality division of the Florida Stallion Stakes Series, and he looks to return to the winner’s circle on Saturday.
A. Bianco Holding’s Dad’z Laugh is the only horse entered for the Memorial Handicap who comes into the race off of a stakes win. He took the 6 ½-furlong Big Drama stakes at Gulfstream on May 10 by 2 ¾ lengths. His last start at Calder was in January when he placed second in the 6-furlong Thrillin Discovery Handicap. Stipa Racing Stable, Inc.’s Narvaez comes into the Memorial Handicap off of a third-place finish in the Big Drama. He has never run in a stakes race at Calder but did break his maiden at Calder in 2012.
Gemini II Racing Stables LLC’s General Sham’mah makes just his second career stakes appearance with the Memorial Handicap. He finished fourth in this year’s Calder Derby in his stakes debut.
The Memorial Handicap is slated as the eighth race with an approximate post time of 4:30 p.m. Post time for the first race at Calder is 12:55 p.m.