The Calder Casino & Race Course racing office has assembled an outstanding field of seven for Sunday’s feature, a top-shelf filly and mare sprint allowance where every entrant is a stakes winner, one of the participants is an undefeated and unknown Panamanian-import, and one of the runners, Tamarind Hall, is making her first appearance since a start in last year’s Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint.
“She came to us in April, and you could tell right away that she was a nice filly,” new conditioner Dave Fawkes said of the Grade 3-winning and Grade 1-placed mare. “She’s been a great addition to the barn.”
After her run in the Breeders’ Cup, where she started for trainer Jeremiah Englehart in the colors of the Eklektikos ownership group, Tamarind Hall wore hip 40 at the Fasig-Tipton November Sale where she sold for $250,000 to Summerfield Sales. The mare will start for Brinkerhill Farm, LLC on Sunday.
“She’s doing great and she has been working really well,” Fawkes said. “I was a little familiar with her before we got her, but not all that much. I had seen her run last year, but never against us.”
A one-time $15,000 claimer, the speedy Tamarind Hall gained national exposure with her 15-1 upset of Hilda’s Passion in the Grade 3 Bed o’ Roses at Belmont Park last July. That surprising performance was later validated when Tamarind Hall returned to finish third in the Grade 1 Ballerina and second in the Grade 2 Gallant Bloom before closing out her season in the Breeders’ Cup.
“She’s by Graeme Hall, and so is Duke of Mischief,” Fawkes said in reference to his $1.9-million earning multiple graded stakes winning trainee. “Right now he’s the richest horse by Graeme Hall, so we’ll see what we can do with her.”
Among the sextet of the fillies and mares looking to spoil Tamarind Hall’s return to the races is the previously alluded to Amor de Palacio, unbeaten in 12 Central and South American starts; Frolic’s Revenge, recent heroine of the grassy $100,000 Calder Oaks; and Bessie M., a five-time winner at Calder, including a $55,000 Dolly Jo Stakes triumph last September.
BAHAMIAN SQUALL SETS COURSE TOWARDS SUMMER OF SOPHOMORE STAKES
While proven stakes winners such as Tamarind Hall, Apriority, Hot Summer, and Duke of Mischief all occupy stall space in the Fawkes barn, perhaps the most promising horse in the stable is Donald Dizney’s 3-year-old Bahamian Squall, who was never threatened en route to an impressive nine-length allowance win last Sunday and will now be pointed towards the summer stakes at Calder.
“I saw the race on my phone, but I haven’t really gotten a chance to look at it again,” Fawkes said while in search of a video replay terminal. “I want to go and watch it again, but from what I could tell, it looked impressive.”
That victory was the second in four starts for Bahamian Squall, whose two defeats came in the Grade 3 Swale Stakes at Gulfstream, a race where no horse was ever threatening the winner Trinniberg, and the $75,000 Sophomore Stakes at Tampa, where a possible poor ride thwarted the colt’s chance for success.
“After those races, we just wanted him to get his confidence back,” Fawkes said of the allowance victory. “We accomplished that, and now we’ll keep him down here and point towards the 3-year-old stakes; the Unbridled and then the Carry Back.
“That’s really been the plan with most of our horses. Apriority, Tamarind Hall, and even Hot Summer; we want to keep them down here and run in the Summit of Speed stakes.”
This year’s Summit of Speed program, featuring the Grade 1 Princess Rooney, Grade 2 Smile Sprint, Grade 3 Carry Back, and Grade 3 Azalea will be held Saturday, July 7. Summit Preview day, which features the $75,000 Unbridled, $75,000 U Can Do It, $75,000 Leave Me Alone, and $75,000 Ponche is scheduled for June 9.