A busy Saturday morning of workouts at Calder Casino & Race Course saw an appearance by Eclipse Award winner Musical Romance, who continued preparations for a start in the Grade 1 Princess Rooney, the centerpiece event of the July 7 Summit of Speed program. The daughter of Concorde’s Tune worked five furlongs over a ‘good’ surface in 1:00.80, the fastest of 19 moves at the distance.
“The last breeze I wanted the rider to take a little hold of her and not let her do too much,” trainer Bill Kaplan said. “But today I told Juan (Leyva) to just let her do whatever she wanted to do, and she wanted to run. She’s a naturally fast filly; she just glides over the track and cruises around there nice and easy, and Juan never asked her.”
Saturday’s workout was the second published work for Musical Romance since her runner-up performance in the Grade 1 Humana Distaff at Churchill Downs where she chased home track-record setter Groupie Doll. Musical Romance is being pointed towards a start in the Princess Rooney, a race she finished second in last year when beaten a neck for everything by Kentucky raider Sassy Image.
“Everything is still on; we’re still on track for the Rooney,” Kaplan said. “I’ll be interested to see who else is pointing towards the race and who is going to show up for it.”
Nominations for the $400,000 Princess Rooney, along with the five other Summit of Speed stakes, the $400,000 Grade 2 Smile Sprint, $150,000 Grade 3 Carry Back, $150,000 Grade 3 Azalea, $100,000 Bob Umphrey Turf Sprint, and $100,000 Hollywood Wildcat, close Saturday, June 23.
QUEEN DRAMA COVERS HALF-MILE IN ADVANCE OF SEASONAL DEBUT
Also hitting the Calder work tab on Saturday morning was Queen Drama, the winner of last year’s $125,000 Susan’s Girl Division of the Florida Stallion Stakes. The daughter of Burning Roma worked a half-mile in :49.20, which ranked seventh of 49 at the distance.
“She worked good and had a nice gallop out,” trainer Dave Fawkes said. “It was a nice even breeze.”
After competing in all three legs of the Stallion Stakes last year, Queen Drama was put to the sidelines following a sixth-place finish in the $300,000 My Dear Girl Division on October 15. The homebred filly was then sent north to her owner’s farm, returning to south Florida on June 7 and posting the first work of her 3-year-old season on June 10.
“She just needed a break,” Fawkes said of the extended hiatus. “So we thought it was best to give her some time off and point towards the second half of the year.”
Exactly what that second-half of the year will entail is uncertain, and immediate plans for Queen Drama remain tentative.
“There really isn’t a plan for her right now,” Fawkes said. “There’s an allowance coming up that we hope will fill, but if it doesn’t, the options are wide open. We’ll find a race for her.”
GOOD MORNING DIVA STARTS AT MONMOUTH SUNDAY
George Kerr’s Good Morning Diva, winner of the $150,000 Calder Derby in April and most recently fourth in the Grade 2 Peter Pan at Belmont Park, is one of seven sophomores scheduled to start in the Grade 3 Pegasus at Monmouth Park on Sunday.
Trained at Calder by David Braddy, but under the guidance of trainer Tim Hills while campaigning up north, Good Morning Diva is listed as the co-second choice at 3-1 on the morning-line for the 1 1/16-mile event.
Also among the Pegasus entrants is Leanne Robbins’ Midnight Serenade. The Steve DiMauro-trained son of Bandini won the $75,000 Seacliff Stakes at Calder last year.