Stride Rite Racing Stable, Inc.’s Frolic’s Revenge will seek her fourth straight stakes win, while Luis Duco Stables, Inc.’s Empire Builder will try for his third in succession, when Calder Casino & Race Course hosts a pair of stakes for 3-year-olds on Saturday, the $75,000 Three Ring for sophomore fillies and the $75,000 El Kaiser Stakes. Both races are run at the distance of one mile and 70 yards, and both drew seven entrants.
Frolic’s Revenge, likely a heavy favorite to win the Three Ring, has looked both brilliant and lucky during her current three-race winning streak, prevailing in both the $100,000 Calder Oaks and the $55,000 Sweettrickydancer by a nose, with a dazzling 17-length victory in the $55,000 Regal Gal sandwiched between. Of those three triumphs, only the Regal Gal was run over the Calder main track, the surface of Saturday’s skirmish.
Trained by Milt Wolfson, Frolic’s Revenge drew post six at Monday’s post-position draw and will be ridden by local leading rider Luis Saez.
Finding a worthy adversary for Frolic’s Revenge in Saturday’s race may prove difficult, although perhaps that role will be played by Jacks or Better Farm, Inc.’s Awesome Belle, an underachieving filly that has unsuccessfully been asked to sprint in each of her last three races despite appearing to be stronger over a route of ground.
The Stanley Gold trainee hasn’t won a race since taking the $300,000 My Dear Girl Division of last year’s Florida Stallion Stakes, but her effort that day, around two turns of Calder dirt, was surely the best of her career, and the last time she negotiated a pair of bends on any dirt track, she finished a close third in a Gulfstream Park allowance in March.
Awesome Belle will start from post two on Saturday, with Fernando Jara scheduled to ride.
Trainer Marty Wolfson scratched Silverton Hill, LLC’s Sister Pippa from last weekend’s Nancy’s Glitter Stakes to run in the Three Ring where the filly will start from post one with jockey Joe Rodriguez in the saddle.
After failing to hit the board in any of her first three career starts, Sister Pippa was transferred to the Wolfson barn this spring where she has excelled, winning two straight for her new team, most recently thrashing allowance rivals by 5 ½ lengths over the Calder dirt.
Completing the field for the Three Ring is Cairoli Racing Stable, Vicente Stella Stables, LLC, and Amin Saiden’s Sinister Tale, fourth in the Grade 3 Azalea in her last start; Luis Duco Stables, Inc.’s Macanuda, the distant runner-up to Sister Pippa in her last; Tracy Pinchin’s Sinister Brew, who could do no better than seventh in the Sweettrickydancer; and Jim Hutzel, Nancy Bird, and Robert Hurland’s Unbeatable Wil, a two-time winner that ships in from Louisiana Downs for the race.
While Empire Builder began the Calder Meet as a bit of an afterthought in the local 3-year-old division, the son of Kitten’s Joy has quickly risen to the top and enters the $75,000 El Kaiser off victories in the $55,000 Mambo Meister Stakes and most recently the $55,000 American Dreamer Stakes, where he was at his absolute best, winning by 4 ¾ lengths.
Trained by Luis Duco, Empire Builder starts from post three in the El Kaiser and will be ridden by first-year jockey Jonathan Gonzales, who has won two stakes races during his young career, both coming aboard Empire Builder.
One of Empire Builder’s chief foes in the El Kaiser is Bruce Hollander and Cary Shapoff’s Csaba, who was 5 ¾ lengths better than Empire Builder in a May 12 allowance race at Calder but was never getting by that rival when crossing the wire second in the Mambo Meister, a race where Csaba was eventually disqualified to third for causing interference on the turn.
A three-time winner over the Calder main track, Csaba, trained by Phil Gleaves, will start from post two on Saturday with Luis Saez to ride.
While Empire Builder and Csaba were battling in the Mambo Meister on May 26, Eduardo Azpurua, Jr.’s Azafran was still two days away from making his career debut on May 28, where he finished an inspiring second. The Agustin Bezara trainee has since returned to make two starts, winning both by a combined 11 lengths in advance of his stakes debut in the El Kaiser.
The lightly-raced son of Afleet Alex has drawn post four for Saturday’s test and will be ridden for the first time by jockey Carlos Olivero.
Completing the field for a contentious looking edition of the El Kaiser is Korina Stable’s Ravelo’s Boy, second to Empire Builder in the American Dreamer; Sandra J. Brown’s Two Is to Many, third in the American Dreamer; Joseph Balsamo’s Bellefire, an allowance winner in each of his last two starts; and Christine Garrity and Anthony Amante’s Mr. Espresso, who also enters the El Kaiser on a two-race allowance winning streak.
In addition to the Three Ring and the El Kaiser, Calder will also present the $55,000 Primal Stakes on Saturday, a 1 1/16-mile main track test for older horses.
The Primal Stakes has attracted a field of eight combatants, led by Larry Fugate’s Cash Rules, winner of the $55,000 Sumter Stakes in early May that has since returned to finish second to the high-class Where’s Sterling in the $75,000 Memorial Day Handicap.
Other notables in the field include Shivananda Racing’s Ducduc, second to Cash Rules in the Sumter; Caroni Stable’s Oligarch, last seen as the runner-up in the Mecke Stakes; and Stipa Racing Stable, Inc.’s Numb Lips, third in both the Mecke and the Memorial Day.
First race post time at Calder on Saturday is 12:55 p.m. The stakes portion of the 12-race program will begin with the El Kaiser, scheduled to go as the ninth race at approximately 4:35 p.m. The Three Ring will follow at 5:04 p.m., with the Primal listed for a 5:31 p.m. start.