Cornered in the Calder Casino & Race Course stall office on Saturday morning, trainer Michael Yates reported that his Shadybrook Farm, Inc. and Robert Eversole’s promising 4-year-old colt Cajun Breeze has resumed training with an eventual appearance at Calder in the preliminary plans.
“He’s doing great,” Yates said. “We wanted to give him some time off after his last start, so we decided we’d give him about 45 days. He’s up at the farm right now and we’ve started back on him. He’ll come back down here in a bit and we’ll find somewhere to run him.”
Second in the $150,000 Sunshine Millions Sprint to the Todd Pletcher-trained speedster Soaring Stocks, Cajun Breeze returned in the Grade 2 Gulfstream Park Handicap where he finished fourth behind an imposing trio of graded stakes winners in Mucho Macho Man, Jackson Bend, and Tackleberry.
“He was in a little tough in a couple of his starts,” Yates said. “But he’s still eligible for allowance races, so we plan on using his conditions when we bring him back.”
A popular winner at Gulfstream when returning $4.20 for his December 30 maiden victory, Yates still recalls Cajun Breeze’s first appearance at the Gulfstream meet on December 10 when the public ignored the colt at 25-1 and then watched as he was beaten just over a length when second to a horse called Ninja Blade.
“When the overnight came out for that race, I was about sick when I saw that horse (Ninja Blade) was in there,” Yates said. “He had run second five straight times, and most of those times he was second to eventual graded stakes winners. How many times do you see that? But we gave him all he could handle.”
BAHAMIAN SQUALL TOPS SUNDAY FEATURE
An entry-level allowance sprint for 3-year-olds will highlight the Sunday racing program from Calder with Donald R. Dizney’s talented homebred colt Bahamian Squall likely to play the role of race favorite.
An impressive maiden winner in his February 5 career debut at Gulfstream, Bahamian Squall was immediately asked to take on stakes rivals, finishing sixth to runaway winner Trinniberg in the Grade 3 Swale before returning in the $75,000 Sophomore Stakes at Tampa where he was beaten just over two lengths when a troubled fifth.
Although nominated to the $75,000 In Summations Stakes on May 12, trainer Dave Fawkes indicated last week that he was looking to restore some confidence in Bahamian Squall, thus the reason he pointed the colt towards Sunday’s allowance race in lieu of another stakes appearance.
With a good showing Sunday, it would seem within reason to suggest that the son of Gone West could set course towards a run in the Grade 3 Carry Back Stakes, run July 7 as part of the annual Summit of Speed program at Calder.
Recent maiden winner Newspaper Boy and last year’s Dr. Fager Division of the Florida Stallion Stakes fifth-place finisher Saint Pete appear the most likely candidates to threaten Bahamian Squall for Sunday supremacy.
Sunday’s featured allowance will go as the eighth race on a nine-race program with post time scheduled for 4:06 p.m. First-race post time is 12:55 p.m.