Both the Dr. Fager and Desert Vixen first-round Florida Stallion Stakes divisions for 2-year-olds at Calder Race Course produced mild upsets of favorites and round two comes Saturday in the $125,000 Affirmed and $125,000 Susan's Girl divisions at seven furlongs.
Owner/trainer Tommy Heard Jr.'s Lawbook rallied late to edge by E. Paul Robsham's odds-on favorite Trust N Luck by three-quarters of a length in the six-furlong Dr. Fager and the two colts meet again in a field of eight in the Affirmed. Jockey Roger I. Velez will be back aboard Lawbook as the son of Notebook makes his ninth career start. Lawbook ran well in most of his starts since making his debut at Gulfstream in April, but had trouble in several races.
Trust N Luck was making only his third start in the Dr. Fager after winning his first two outings as the favorite. The son of Montbrook is trained by Ralph Ziadie and was a $200,000 OBS March 2-year-old sales purchase. Jockey Gary Boulanger will be back aboard Trust N Luck, who beat Lawbook while winning his career debut. Trust N Luck held a two-length lead with a furlong to go in the Dr. Fager and should improve with the experience.
Bee Bee Stable and Jacqueline Tortora's Supah Blitz rallied for third in the Dr. Fager after getting away to a slow start for the second time in a row. Trained by Manny Tortora, the homebred son of Mecke also was off poorly in the Criterium Stakes before rallying to finish second, only a half-length behind Hear No Evil.
Supah Blitz should improve with the additional distance as did his sire, who won the Affirmed early in his brilliant career, and his dam, Boots 'n Jackie, winner of the My Dear Girl in 1992 before finishing third in the Breeders‚ Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. III). Rosemary Homeister Jr. has the mount.
Completing the field for the Affirmed are Nomadic Actor, Gary Bain; Kissin Bold, Sebastian Madrid; Indian Crusader, Charleen Hunt; The Name's Bond, Eduardo Nunez; and Rufustheroadrunner, Julio Garcia.
Annabel and William Murphy's The Name's Bond joins the series after passing the Dr. Fager. The homebred son of Jules lost a head decision in an allowance last out to highly regarded Super Frolic. The Name's Bond is trained by veteran horseman Frank Gomez, the all-time leader of Florida Stallion Stakes division winners with 12 victories over the years.
Post Horse M/L
1 Trust N Luck 8-5
2 Nomadic Actor 20-1
3 Kissin Bold 15-1
4 Indian Crusader 20-1
5 The Name's Bond 6-1
6 Rufustheroadrunner 12-1
7 Supah Blitz 3-1
8 Lawbook 5-2
Richlyn Farm's Fortunate Card won a hard-fought nose decision over Mike Sherman's Heavenly Miss in the Desert Vixen three weeks ago after a furious stretch duel and the two will meet again in the Susan's Girl.
Jockey Sebastian Madrid is back aboard Fortunate Card, a maiden 12-1 chance in the Desert Vixen after losing a nose decision in her career debut for trainer Henry Collazo. The daughter of Fortunate Prospect was a bargain $20,000 OBS April 2-year-old purchase for Collazo, who resold the filly to Richlyn Farms.
Heavenly Miss was under pressure from the start of the Desert Vixen and game to the finish under jockey Manuel Aguilar, who gets a return call. Trained by Angel Salinas, the homebred daughter of Suave Prospect rallied from off the pace to win the J j'sdream Stakes in her previous start.
An interesting footnote to what could become a rivalry as the Florida Stallion Stakes series progresses is that Mike Sherman's Farnsworth Farm bred Fortunate Card, some consolation for the tough loss.
Gilbert Campbell's Ivanavinalot was the 8-5 favorite in the Desert Vixen and finished fourth after winning her first two career starts for trainer Kathleen O'Connell. The homebred daughter of West Acre hit the gate and came out last in the field of 10. Jockey Manoel Cruz gets the return call.
Trilogy Stables and Laurie Plesa's Running Debate finished third in the Desert Vixen after getting slammed at the start. Trained by Eddie Plesa Jr., the daughter of Open Forum was a $170,000 OBS February 2-year-old purchase and highly regarded after winning her first two starts early in the meet before disappointing when seventh in the J j'sdream.
Rocking J B Stable and partners‚ Crafty Brat joins the FSS series after a very good second-place finish to Never Fail in an allowance race. The daughter of Lucky Lionel was a $31,000 OBS April 2-year-old purchase and is trained by Joe Calascibetta.
Post Horse M/L
1 Ivanavinalot 2-1
2 Paintball 8-1
3 Fortunate Card 4-1
4 Heavenly Miss 3-1
5 Hummel 12-1
6 My Sky 15-1
7 Crafty Brat 10-1
8 Running Debate 6-1