Jacks or Better Farm, Inc.’s Hear Ye Hear Ye will try to successfully defend his 2011 Sumter Stakes title when starting amongst an enigmatic field of nine in this year’s $55,000 renewal, to be run over one mile and 70 yards of Calder Casino & Race Course dirt on Saturday, May 5.
Trained by Stanley Gold, Hear Ye Hear Ye was never challenged when a front-running 5 ¾-length winner in last year’s Sumter, but that triumph represents his last visit to the winner’s circle and he enters the 2012 running on a five-race skid, having not started since a third-place finish in the $75,000 Darn That Alarm Stakes on September 3.
The post position draw was a bit rough on Hear Ye Hear Ye as the 5-year-old will be asked to negotiate his two-turn seasonal debut from stall nine. Jockey Luis Jurado is scheduled to ride.
Leading the list of challengers looking to turn back the title defense of Hear Ye Hear Ye is Stipa Racing Stable, Inc.’s Numb Lips and Shivananda Racing’s Ducduc, the respective second and third-place finishers in the April 21 off-the-turf rendition of the $125,000 Miami Mile Handicap.
Never worse than second in seven starts on the Calder main track, Numb Lips was beaten less than a length when coming home the runner-up in the Miami Mile. The Agustin Bezara trainee adds blinkers for the Sumter and will start from post seven under jockey Jozbin Santana.
Trained by Bisnath Parboo, who will saddle Trinniberg in the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby on Saturday, Ducduc, already a turf-stakes winner at Calder with a victory in last year’s $55,000 Joey Blueeyes, will look to annex his first dirt stakes when making just the third main track start of his career in the Sumter.
A stubborn third in the Miami Mile when beaten just a length after making all the early running, the 6-year-old son of Langfuhr has been assigned post one for the Sumter with jockey Jose Alvarez listed to ride.
An intriguing entrant for the Sumter, and quite possibly the wagering favorite for the race, is Farnsworth Stables, LLC’s Canadian Mistress, a 4-year-old filly slated to meet male rivals for the first time in her career.
Imported to the barn of trainer Marty Wolfson following a second-level allowance victory at Fair Grounds in late November, Canadian Mistress was disqualified from an early February allowance victory at Gulfstream in which she was much the best, and was most recently third to older filly and mare division leader Awesome Maria in the Grade 3 Rampart.
Canadian Mistress will start from post six in the Sumter with jockey Jermaine Bridgmohan named aboard the filly at time of entry.
Other Sumter Stakes entrants of note include Larry Fugate’s Cash Rules, a three-time winner in six lifetime starts over the Calder main track; Ione and Herbert Elkins’ Dream Maestro, a career-earner of over $588,000; and Henco, Inc. and Four Horsemen Stable’s Tannersville, a six-time winner on Calder dirt that finished a respectable sixth in the Miami Mile.
Completing the field for the Sumter Stakes is Bendayan Stable’s Atoned and Herman Van Den Broeck’s Matty’s Trail.
The $55,000 Sumter Stakes will go as the 11th race on a 12-race Saturday program from Calder with an approximate post time of 5:30 p.m. First race post-time is 12:55 p.m. The final live race at Calder is slated for 5:56 p.m., with the simulcast of the 138th running of the Kentucky Derby from Churchill Downs scheduled for approximately 6:24 p.m.