Edward Seltzer and Beverly Anderson’s Grade 1-placed filly Wyomia shipped to Calder Casino & Race Course from her home base at Solera Farm on Wednesday in advance of a start in Saturday’s $55,000 Sara’s Success, a one-mile turf test that will mark the daughter of Vindication’s seasonal debut off a nine-month hiatus.
“I was looking for a place that would be somewhat easy for her return,” trainer Curtis Garrison said. “I thought this would be an easier spot. The race definitely came up tougher than I thought it would. It’s a tough race.”
Among the competitors Wyomia will meet in the Sara’s Success is Romacaca, a Grade 3-winning mare with over $670,000 in turf earnings. But Wyomia is no stranger to tough competition. During her 3-year-old campaign, the filly competed in four straight graded stakes over turf, dirt, and synthetic surfaces, finishing second when beaten a length in the Grade 1 Ashland on Polytrack at Keeneland before returning with a one-length defeat while third in the Grade 3 Virginia Oaks over the Colonial Downs grass course.
Wyomia closed out her season with a sixth-place finish in the Grade 2 Lake Placid Stakes at Saratoga, a somewhat subpar performance that Garrison at least partially blames on the turf condition that day.
“It had rained pretty heavy before the race,” Garrison explained. “(Jockey Freddie) Lenclud had her inside saving ground, but because of the rain the inside was so deep she could never get going, and she could never really get out of there either. If you remember the race, (odds-on favorite) Winter Memories was down there too, and she could never get going on the inside either (and finished fourth).”
Following the Lake Placid, Wyomia was put to the sidelines for the remainder of the year, a move drawn up by design and not necessitated by injury or unsoundness.
“That race took a lot out of her, plus the shipping had taken its toll on her,” Garrison said. “She had spent the first part of the year travelling all over. So we decided it was best to give her some time off and point for her 4-year-old season.”
Wyomia began preparations for her 2012 campaign in late January, when Garrison returned the filly to heavy training at Solera Farm.
“Ever since I started back on her she’s been training really well,” Garrison said. “And her last two works were just what I wanted. We think she’s going to do good things this year.”
Garrison jogged Wyomia Thursday morning and plans a similar routine for the filly on Friday, while simultaneously keeping a watch on the often tempestuous south Florida skies.
“With all the rain we had last night, I was hoping the track would be dry this morning, and it was,” Garrison said. “She got over it well and really seemed to like it. To be honest, it wouldn’t disappoint me too much if it rained again and we had to run on the dirt instead.”
Wyomia won the $75,000 Suncoast Stakes on the Tampa Bay Downs dirt course last year.
OVERNIGHT STAKES TO HONOR MAMBO MEISTER
The Calder racing office will remember Quantum Racing Team #1, LLC’s local racing star Mambo Meister with an overnight stakes to be run Saturday, May 26. The popular gelding broke down during a routine morning workout at Calder on April 9.
“It’s only appropriate that a classy horse like Mambo Meister have a stake named for him,” Racing Secretary Mike Anifantis said. “Not only was he Calder-based and ran well here, he always represented Calder in exemplary fashion when competing in stakes throughout the country.”
Trained by Phil Gleaves, Mambo Meister made 42 starts during his memorable career, winning 11 times, with all of his victories coming at Calder, including graded stakes victories on both turf and dirt.
For his career, the gelding made 22 appearances in graded stakes, including four Grade 1’s, and was two lengths shy of victory when a troubled fifth in the 2009 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile at Santa Anita.
The Mambo Meister is restricted to 3-year-olds and will be run at the distance of one mile on turf. Nominations for the race close Saturday, May 19, and there is no fee to nominate.
MEMORIAL DAY HANDICAP ATTRACTS 11 NOMINEES
Nominations for the $75,000 Memorial Day Handicap closed earlier this week with 11 horses listed as possible starters for the 1 1/16-mile main track test.
Heading the list of nominees is Where’s Sterling, winner of the Grade 3 Pete Iselin at Monmouth Park and the fourth-place finisher in the Grade 1 Donn Handicap, and Imperial Czar, who captured the off-the-turf Miami Mile Handicap in his most recent start.
Also nominated to the Memorial Day Handicap were Cash Rules, Ducduc, Dream Maestro, and Numb Lips, the top four finishers from the $55,000 Sumter Stakes on May 5.