Alex and JoAnn Lieblong and partners' 4-year-old Duke of Mischief, winner of the Oaklawn Handicap (G2) in the spring and Philip H. Iselin Handicap (G3) at Monmouth Park in the summer, will be the likely choice in a field of six 3-year-olds and up drawn for the $150,000 Carl Rose Classic, the climax of Saturday's Florida Million program at Calder Casino & Race Course.
The Carl Rose Classic will be the finale of eight stakes races for Florida-breds worth a total of $1 million to be run on the annual fall showcase and has attracted a number of shippers or recent arrivals into South Florida, including a team of three stakes runners from the powerful Bill Mott stable that have taken up winter quarters at Payson Park.
Birdrun Poses Challenge for the ‘Duke' in Carl Rose
Oxbow Racing's 4-year-old Birdrun leads the Mott-trained trio and appears to be the biggest threat to Duke of Mishchief in the Carl Rose at 1 1/8 miles with jockey Rajiv Maragh flying in to ride the son of Birdstone in his first start since capturing a ‘three-other-than' allowance going a mile at Belmont Park last out on Sept. 22.
Jockey Eibar Coa has ridden Duke of Mischief in most of his races over the last two seasons and will be back aboard for trainer and co-owner David Fawkes as the chestnut son of Graeme Hall bids to bounce back from a fourth-place finish in the Meadowlands Cup (G2) last out on Oct. 9 as Etched won the race and earned a trip the Breeders' Cup Classic (G1) last Saturday.
Duke of Mischief first emerged as a major player on the national scene winning the Iowa Derby at Prairie Meadows by five lengths as a 3-year-old in late June 2009 following a 12-length romp in an allowance race over the Calder track in his previous start. In a good try prior to the Iselin, ‘Duke' finished a game second to Gone Astray in the Salvator Mile (G3) at Monmouth.
Completing the field for the Carl Rose are L and D Farm's Riversrunrylee, Carlos Olivero; Ione and Herb Elkins' Dream Maestro, Manoel Cruz; Sherry Parboo's King Ghidorah, J.L. Alvarez; and Gilbert Campbell's Fly by Phil, Eduardo Nunez.
Trip for A.J. the Horse to Beat in Elmer Heubeck Distaff
Peter Fuller's Florida homebred 3-year-old filly Trip for A.J. has been the star of her division this season at Calder winning five of her last six starts on turf and dirt for veteran horseman Milt Wolfson, and will be the horse to beat in the $150,000 Elmer Heubeck Distaff Handicap, the filly and mare companion test to the Carl Rose at 1 1/16 miles, with Eibar Coa getting a return call.
A chestnut daughter of Trippi, Trip for A.J. and Coa teamed up for a sparkling 5 ¾ lengths tally last out in the Calder Oaks run on turf on Oct. 16 after an unfortunate fourth-place try in the Judy's Red Shoes Stakes in late September on the main track as the 1-to-5 favorite.
Trip for A.J. faces seven rivals in the Elmer Heubeck with Farnsworth Stable's 5-year-old mare Amazing the likely second choice for trainer Marty Wolfson and Jermaine Bridgmohan in the saddle. The chestnut daughter of Greatness was a controversial winner of the Elmer Heubeck as a 3-year-old in 2008 over Milt Wolfson-trained Annabill when Amazing was racing for breeder Marilyn Seltzer and trained by Terry Oliver.
Amazing won that race by just a nose after a rough stretch run, but a claim of foul was not allowed. Farnsworth claimed her for $75,000 out of a nine-furlong optional/allowance at Saratoga in August in which she finished second by a head.
She has run twice since at Calder, winning a ‘money' allowance on Sept. 18 by 5 ¾ lengths and finishing second in the Cinnamon Girl overnight stakes on Oct. 16, beaten by Marty Wolfson-trained stablemate Toocleverforwords.
Another contender with solid credentials is Live Oak Plantation's 3-year-old homebred Successful Song with jockey Luis Saez back aboard for trainer Eddie Plesa, Jr. The daughter of Successful Appeal showed little last out trying turf for the first time when eighth behind Trip for A.J. in the Calder Oaks, but had won three straight before that on the main track, including the Judy's Red Shoes by 3 ¼ lengths on Sept. 25.
Completing the field for the Elmer Heubeck are Just for Fun Stable's One Proud Lady, Rose Family Stable's Joanie's Catch, Ersoff Racing Stable's Even Road, Virginia and James Gamble's Gator Brew and Pinnacle Racing and Bill Kaplan's Musical Romance.
Tannersville & Bim Bam Get Rematch in Bonnie Heath Turf Cup
Henco Racing and Four Horsemen Racing Stable's Tannersville and J D Farm's Bim Bam battled to a nose decision in the Calder Derby on Festival of the Sun day, Oct. 16, the former the winner, and the two 3-year-olds clash again in the $125,000 Bonnie Heath Turf Cup at 1 1/8 miles in a field of seven that includes four older horses.
Jockey Wilmer Galviz rides Tannersville for trainer and co-owner Henry Collazo as the son of West Acre bids for his fifth victory in six career starts on turf. His only loss on grass came in the Lord Juban overnight stakes on June 5 when he finished third as Bim Bam won that event.
Jockey Eibar Coa rode Bim Bam at Gulfstream Park for trainer David Brownlee last winter when he established his turf course credentials winning the Hallandale Beach Stakes over highly-regarded favorite Interactif in early February. The son of Deputy Wild Cat has earned nearly $380,000 and appears to be back on his best game.
The two 3-year-olds face an accomplished older contender in Martin Cherry's 6-year-old gelding Pickapocket with Jermaine Bridgmohan to ride for trainer Marty Wolfson. The homebred son of Mecke has been on the road since last winter with trainer Steve Margolis, winning the ‘off-the-turf' Sussex Stakes at Delaware Park ands finishing a close-up third in the West Virginia Speakers Cup on the Mountaineer Park turf course on Aug. 7.
Completing the field for the Bonnie Heath are Live Oak Plantation's Saint Dynaformer, Lewis Pell and Michael Eigner's Imawildandcrazyguy, Steve Dwoskin's Mean Sax and Teresa and James Remez' Livingston Street.
Veteran How's Your Halo Bids to Get Back on Track in Jack Dudley
Owner-trainer Brian Prichard's 7-year-old How's Your Halo has ranked among the leading sprinters in South Florida for several seasons with nearly $600,000 in earnings, and will get plenty of support in the $125,000 Jack Dudley Sprint at six furlongs making his first start since finishing runner-up as the favorite in a ‘money' allowance here on Sept. 18.
Prichard claimed How's Your Halo for $40,000 as a 3-year-old at Gulfstream Park in 2006 and he won the Richter Scale (G2) there early in 2009. The son of Halo's Image is best-known for his good efforts running in three editions of the Smile Sprint Handicap (G2) on Summit of Speed days at Calder, finishing third behind Big Drama this summer and second in the 2008 renewal won by Eclipse champion Benny The Bull. Jockey Juan Leyva gets a return call.
The sternest test for How's Your Halo may come from Kramer Stable's 4-year-old You Luckie Mann, who beat him 1 ¼ lengths in the Sept. 18 allowance at five furlongs. A roan/gray colt by Exchange Rate trained by Marty Wolfson, You Luckie Mann was making his first start since finishing fifth in the Gallant Bob Handicap at Philadelphia Park in September of 2009.
Jockey Luis Saez gets a return call on You Luckie Mann, who chased Breeders' Cup Sprint (G1) winner and probable Eclipse champion Big Drama home third in two divisions of the Florida Stallion Stakes when they were 2-year-olds in 2008. You Luckie Mann finished second in both the Spectacular Bid Stakes at Gulfstream and Carry Back Stakes (G2) on Summit day last year as a 3-year-old.
A shipper with a chance in the Jack Dudley is Robert Cole, Jr.'s 4-year-old Ju Jitsu Jax with jockey J.D. Acosta aboard for trainer Scott Lake. The son of Tiger Ridge has won 10 of 22 starts for earnings of more than $400,000, most recently capturing the Jefferson County HBPA at Charlestown on Oct. 15.
Completing the field of nine set for the Jack Dudley are Luis Olivares' Tackleberry, Jacks or Better Farm's Hear Ye Hear Ye, Cairoli Racing Stable's Black Gabriel, Starship Stable's Starship Valor, Korina Stable's Sincero and Yassim Mohamed's Rusty Charlie.
Gourmet Dinner Turns Back for Jack Price Juvenile
Our Sugar Bear Stable's Gourmet Dinner was widely-regarded as the leading colt developed here this summer as he raced undefeated through his first three starts before finishing second as the 3-to-5 favorite in the $400,000 In Reality Division of the Florida Stallion Stakes, stretching out to 1 1/16 miles last out on Festival day, Oct. 16, but will be well-supported turning back to seven furlongs for Saturday's $125,000 Jack Price Juvenile.
Veteran jockey Sebastian Madrid has ridden Gourmet Dinner in all four of his starts and retains the mount for trainer Steve Standridge. The son of Trippi was very impressive winning the Affirmed Division of the FSS by 2 ¼ lengths at the Jack Price distance before his bid for a sweep in the In Reality fell 1 ½ lengths short.
Gourmet Dinner's chief rivals in the field of 10 2-year-old colts and geldings will be Raputti Stable's homebred Ribo Bobo with Eduardo Nunez in the saddle for trainer Manny Azpurua and Ron Marano's Determinato to be ridden by Eibar Coa.
Ribo Bobo is a son of Louis Quatorze and won the Foolish Pleasure Stakes here going one mile and 70 yards on Sept. 25, but was not eligible for the In Reality. Instead, Azpurua shipped him to Kentucky and he finished a game second in the Iroquois Stakes (G3) going a one-turn mile at Churchill Downs the weekend before the Breeders' Cup (Oct. 31).
Determinato was the flashiest debut maiden winner here early this season when he drew clear to score by 9 ¾ lengths for trainer Larry Pilotti on May 1, but did not race again until a dull try finishing sixth on Sept. 11. However, the homebred son of Closing Argument has looked good finishing second in two starts since in the Birdonthewire Stakes on Oct. 16 and last out in an allowance on Oct. 28.
Completing the field for the Jack Price are Murray Stout's Brock N Rock, Roger Urbina's Motin, Jacks or Better Farm's Vodka Stone Sour, Leo Azpurua, Sr.'s Manicero, Maurice Miller's Uno Caliente, Sherry Parboo's I'm a Playboy and Rose Family Stable's Hal.
Lily's Hope among Choices in Wide-Open Joe O'Farrell Juvenile Fillies
A field of 10 2-year-old fillies was drawn for the $125,000 Joe O'Farrell Juvenile Fillies, the companion event to the Jack Price at seven furlongs, and Harris Racing Stable's Lily's Hope could rule a lukewarm favorite in the wide-open contest with jockey Eduardo Nunez named to ride for trainer Eddie Plesa, Jr.
A $37,000 OBS August yearling purchase by Proud Accolade, Lily's Hope has made three starts, finishing third in her debut and breaking her maiden by 3 ½ lengths in her second start, both racing for a $50,000 claiming tag, and then ran a very big race finishing a well-beaten second in the $400,000 My Dear Girl Division finale of the Florida Stallion Stakes on Oct. 16 as a 41-to-1 chance behind undefeated Awesome Feather.
A fresh player in the race is Peter Vegso's Come a Callin with Rajiv Maragh aboard for trainer Bill Mott. The Florida homebred by Dixie Union broke her maiden at Saratoga in her second start going seven furlongs, but did not appear to care for turf, finishing seventh in the Jessamine Stakes at Keeneland last out on Oct. 14.
Completing the field are Half Hollow Racing's Beso Grande, Rose Family Stable's Jill's Dancer, Ben McElroy's Wicked Speed, J D Farm's Many Crowns, Cairoli Racing Stable's Devilish Lady, Jacks or Better Farm's Ridge Kitten, Doble Jak Investments' Cristal Jak and Tuna Stable's The Marikutana.
Arthur Appleton & John Franks Complete Stakes Line-Up
The $100,000 Arthur Appleton Juvenile Turf and $100,000 John Franks Juvenile Fillies Turf, companion events scheduled for 1 1/16 miles on grass, complete the menu of Florida Million Day stakes and attracted fields of eight and 11, respectively.
Roger Urbina's Reprized Halo returns in this spot for his grass course debut after posting the 46-to-1 upset over Gourmet Dinner last out in the In Reality for trainer Manny Azpurua. Jockey J.L. Alvarez gets a return call on the Halo's Image colt that was making his eighth start in the In Reality after breaking his maiden in his seventh attempt.
Glen Hill Farm's Holidaysatthefarm ships in as the probable favorite in the John Franks after winning her last two starts on turf at Belmont Park and Keeneland for trainer Tom Proctor. The homebred daughter of Smarty Jones had run well in two previous turf tries at Saratoga, beaten only a length in each, after a fifth-place debut sprinting on Polytrack at Arlington Park behind Jordy Y.