Jessica Colon’s Imperial Czar, the hero of Saturday’s off-the-turf renewal of the $125,000 Miami Mile Handicap at Calder Casino & Race Course, will be pointed towards a start in next month’s $75,000 Memorial Day Handicap, to be run Monday, May 28, over 1 1/16 miles of Calder dirt.
“That’s the plan right now,” trainer Saul Matos said from his barn Sunday morning. “He came back from yesterday’s race perfect, and now we’re just waiting for the next race.”
With his victory in the Miami Mile, Imperial Czar has now pieced together two straight wins, adding a starter allowance score on closing day of the Gulfstream Park meet to yesterday’s win. That Gulfstream triumph was the colt’s first in nine tries away from Calder, a track the son of Imperialism clearly excels over.
“I’d say he’s never been better, but he was pretty good when we were running him here last year,” Matos said. “He just loves running at Calder. He loves this track.”
That affinity for the Calder racing surface is apparent when analyzing Imperial Czar’s local record, a six-for-18 mark that becomes more impressive when one considers that the colt was winless in his first eight starts and has now won six of his last 10 at Calder.
Purchased at the 2008 Ocala Breeders’ Sales Company Fall Mixed Sale for $2,000, Imperial Czar has amassed $269,786 in career earnings, with $197,691 of that banked locally.
“I’m still thrilled with his race yesterday and the owner is still in the sky over his performance,” Matos added.
Nominations for the Memorial Day Handicap close May 14.
FULL FIELD EXPECTED FOR CALDER OAKS
Calder stakes coordinator Sean Perl is expecting a full field of 3-year-old fillies to pass through the entry box for next weekend’s $100,000 Calder Oaks, a 1 1/16-mile test over the Calder turf course.
Among the list of sophomore fillies viewed as probable for the race is Awesome Belle, the winner of last year’s $300,000 My Dear Girl Division of the Florida Stallion Stakes. Owned by Jacks or Better Farm, Inc. and trained by Stanley Gold, the homebred daughter of Awesome of Course has made one appearance on turf during her 11-race career, finishing eighth after contesting the early pace in the $100,000 Sweetest Chant at Gulfstream.
Also considered a likely starter for the race is Michael Sucher’s Miss Montreal, a daughter of El Corredor that has made just three starts, finishing second on the Gulfstream dirt in her career debut before returning to post consecutive grassy victories, most recently defeating entry-level allowance rivals by three-quarters of a length for Calder Derby winning trainer David Braddy.
Other probable starters for the race include Paula C Racing Stable’s Buleria, a maiden winner at Gulfstream in her last start; Andrew Farm and Overbrook Farm’s Cheimon, a turf maiden winner that exits a troubled fourth in a main-track allowance at Gulfstream; Off The Hook, LLC and Doble Jak Investment, LLC’s Ciguaraya, second to Miss Montreal in her last; and Tracy Pinchin’s Sinister Brew, winner of the 2011 John Franks Juvenile Fillies Turf at Calder.
Those 3-year-old fillies listed as possible for the race are Ainsley, Brown Eyed Nance, Citizen Advocate, Commence Firing, Fine Silver, Frolic’s Revenge, and Glamour N Glory.
Entries for the Calder Oaks will be taken Monday, April 23.