Defending Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint winner, 2011 Eclipse Award champion female sprinter, and 2012 Grade 1 Princess Rooney Handicap heroine Musical Romance tops the list of five horses that raced at Calder Casino & Race Course in 2012 that were pre-entered for this year’s Breeders’ Cup. An additional five horses that had raced at Calder in previous years were also among the list of pre-entries that were announced Wednesday.
Beaten a neck when second in the 2011 Princess Rooney before returning to win that year’s Filly & Mare Sprint, thus claiming divisional honors as the top female sprinter, Musical Romance was a half-length winner of this year’s Princess Rooney, the centerpiece race on the annual Summit of Speed program at Calder. Musical Romance prepped for her title defense in the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint with a win in the Mike Sherman Memorial Handicap in her last start.
Gantry earned an automatic berth in the $1.5 million Breeders’ Cup Sprint when winning the Grade 2 Smile Sprint, one of 73 races internationally that were part of the Breeders’ Cup Challenge ‘Win and You’re In’ Series that rewarded designated race winners with a spot in the starting gate for their respective Breeders’ Cup race, in addition to entry fees and travel allowances.
Also pre-entered for the Breeders’ Cup Sprint was the 3-year-old Trinniberg, beaten a neck when second in this year’s Grade 3 Carry Back Stakes after staging a stirring Summit of Speed stretch duel with winner Fort Loudon. Trinniberg, who broke his maiden in his career debut at Calder in 2011, was a participant in that year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Sprint, finishing seventh after setting the early pace.
Renowned for its quality 2-year-old program, Calder will be represented in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile by Speak Logistics, a winner in two of his three career starts including a 2 ¾-length victory in the $300,000 Florida Stallion Stakes In Reality Division.
The final 2012 Calder starter pre-entered in the Breeders’ Cup is Tale of a Champion, a winner in three of his four local appearances this year, including a triumph in the $100,000 Bob Umphrey Turf Sprint Stakes on Summit of Speed day. Tale of a Champion has since relocated to California where he prepared for the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint with a fifth-place finish in the Grade 3 Eddie D Stakes.
Leading the list of past-year Calder participants pre-entered for the 2012 Breeders’ Cup is Awesome Feather, the undefeated filly that swept the 2010 Florida Stallion Stakes at Calder before going on to capture that year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies en route to winning the Eclipse Award as champion 2-year-old filly. Awesome Feather was pre-entered in the $2 million Ladies’ Classic.
Turbo Compressor, winner of the 2011 Carl G. Rose Handicap, was pre-entered in both the $3 million Breeders’ Cup Turf and the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Mile, as was Little Mike, who made his first two career starts at Calder in 2009 before returning to Miami Gardens to win an allowance race in December 2010. Turbo Compressor has first preference in the Turf, whereas Little Mike has first preference in the Mile.
Pre-entered for the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic, Mucho Macho Man finished second in his career debut at Calder in 2010, while $1 million Filly & Mare Sprint pre-entrant Belle of the Hall crossed the wire fifth in the 2011 Elmer Heubeck Distaff Handicap.
Since the inaugural Breeders’ Cup in 1984 when one-time Calder regular Princess Rooney won the Distaff (now Ladies’ Classic), horses that have competed at Calder have played leading roles in the outcomes of Breeders’ Cup races. In just the last two years, Awesome Feather, Big Drama, and Musical Romance have parlayed their south Florida success into Breeders’ Cup victories and eventual Eclipse Award championships.
This year’s Breeders’ Cup will be held at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif., on Friday, November 2, and Saturday, November 3. Calder Casino & Race Course is the only location in Florida that will offer both the full-card simulcast of the $25.5 million two-day event along with full afternoons of live thoroughbred racing.
Post time for the first Breeders’ Cup race on Friday, the $500,000 Juvenile Sprint, is 4:06 p.m. (EDT), with the day’s last Breeders’ Cup race, the $2 million Ladies’ Classic, slated for 7:30 p.m. The first Breeders’ Cup race on Saturday, the $1 million Juvenile Turf, is scheduled for 2:50 p.m. (EDT) with the $5 million Classic to be run in prime time at 8:30 p.m.
First race post time at Calder on both Friday, November 2, and Saturday, November, 3 is 12:30 p.m.