Ten horses, many of whom are Calder stakes veterans, are entered for the 6 ½-furlong $75,000 Kenny Noe Jr. Handicap, to be run this Saturday at Calder Casino & Race Course.
Bluestone Thoroughbreds LLC’s Black Diamond Cat won back-to-back stakes races at Calder in 2011 and returned to win the 6-furlong Ponche Handicap in June by 1 ¾ lengths over Samuel H. Rogers, Jr.’s Close It Out, who beat him by 4 ½ lengths in the 6-furlong Champali Stakes in May. Black Diamond Cat comes into the Kenny Noe Jr. Handicap on a two-stakes race winning streak, both of which were won at Gulfstream Park.
Close It Out came fourth in the 7-furlong Sunshine State Stakes at Gulfstream on December 8 in his most recent start. In 11 lifetime stakes appearances at Calder, Close It Out has hit the board nine times. He has two stakes victories at Calder – the 6-furlong Jack Dudley Sprint Handicap in November 2012, which he took by a neck, and the Champali this year.
Jacks or Better Farm, Inc.’s Fort Loudon finished fifth in the Sunshine State Stakes in his first start since the Grade II Smile Sprint Handicap at Calder in July. Besides winning four straight races at Calder in 2011, which included a sweep of the Florida Stallion Stakes Series, Fort Loudon scored three straight stakes victories at Calder in 2012. He captured the 6-furlong In Summation Stakes by 2 lengths before scoring the 6-furlong Unbridled Stakes by 3 ¾ lengths. He then earned his first graded stakes victory by a neck in the 6-furlong Grade III Carry Back Stakes.
Cloud Nine Lumoni’s City of Weston returns to Calder after running a string of four stakes races up north. His most recent races were highlighted by his first Grade III win, which came in the 6-furlong Grade III Gallant Bob Stakes at Parx Racing in September. He came up to win the Gallant Bob down the stretch by ¾ of a length. Out of three stakes appearances at Calder this year, City of Weston has one victory under his belt – the 6-furlong Big Drama Stakes in April, which he won late by ¾ of a length.
Ron Hendrickson’s Imperial Czar’s last victory came at Calder in August in a 7-furlong allowance optional claiming race. In his career, Imperial Czar has won two stakes at Calder. In 2011, he scored the 1-mile American Dreamer Stakes by 3 lengths, and in 2012 he held on to win the 1-mile Miami Mile Handicap by ¾ of a length.
Natalie and Rowan Dixon’s Rockyshomerun has raced at Calder for much of his life. His best stakes placing at Calder came in the 6-furlong Unbridled Stakes in June, when he had to settle for second. Averill Racing LLC’s Stat has yet to make a stakes appearance at Calder. He most recently finished second by a ½ length to Rockyshomerun in a 6-furlong allowance at Calder in November. Silverton Hill LLC’s Simmstown has just one appearance at Calder in his career, which came in July in the 5-furlong Bob Umphrey Turf Sprint Stakes on the turf which resulted in a sixth-place finish.
Peachtree Stable’s Heart Stealer has just one career appearance at Calder, which came in her most recent start and stakes debut and resulted in a second-place finish by a length in the 6-furlong Bold World Handicap in November. James Raj’s This Is She, a career Calder runner, makes her stakes debut in the Kenny Noe Jr. Handicap.
The Kenny Noe Jr. Handicap is scheduled as the eighth race and has an approximate post time of 4 p.m. Post time for the first race at Calder is 12:30 p.m.