Mad Flatter took a commanding lead after three-quarters of a mile and coasted to a 6 1/4-length victory over defending champion Mambo Meister on Oct. 16 in the $100,000 Spend a Buck Handicap (gr. III) (VIDEO) at Calder Casino & Race Course.
The 1 1/16 mile dirt test was a “Win and You’re In” race for the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (gr. I) at Churchill Downs Nov. 5.
If other owners agree, Mad Flatter likely will be in that Breeders’ Cup race, said Bonnie Heath III, whose Bonnie Heath Farm in Reddick, Fla., bred and is part of the ownership group for the horse.
Others in the ownership group of the 5-year-old are Holiday Stable, Bright Brook Farm, and Hinkle Farms.
The Spend a Buck was the Florida debut for Mad Flatter. He was coming off a third-place finish on Sept. 4 in the $150,000 Washington Park Handicap (gr. III) at Arlington Park. He was sent off at 7-2 as second choice behind 4-5 Mambo Meister in the field of nine horses.
Mad Flatter shot toward the lead from the outside post and passed Riversrunrylee to take the lead by a head after a half mile in :47.53 seconds. Mad Flatter, ridden by Jon Court, expanded his lead to three lengths after six furlongs in 1:12.41.
Mambo Meister rallied from sixth after a half mile but was unable to mount a challenge to Mad Flatter. El Kingdom finished third, a length behind Mambo Meister.
Mad Flatter ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:46.37 on a track listed as fast.
“The race developed exactly as I thought with the one (Riversrunrylee) setting the early pace,” said Jeffrey Thornbury, Mad Flatter’s trainer. “It set up perfect for our horse.”
Mad Flatter paid $9.60, $4.00, and $4.20. The $2 exacta paid $36.00, and the $2 trifecta paid $106.60.
The win was Mad Flatter’s first in a stakes and sixth in 17 career starts. He is a son of Flatter out of the Honor Grades mare Miss Pangea.
In other stakes on Calder’s Festival of the Sun card:
Jacks or Better Farm’s Awesome Feather beat Lily’s Hope by 8 1/4 lengths in the $350,000 My Dear Girl Stakes for 2-year-old fillies. The win gave Awesome Feather a sweep of the three races in her division of the Florida Stallion Stakes series.
Awesome Feather ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:48.05 under Jeffrey Sanchez. She remained unbeaten in five starts for trainer Stanley Gold.
Awesome Feather is a daughter of Awesome of Course out of the Gone West mare Precious Feather.
Fred Brei, the owner of Jacks or Better Farm, and Gold said they plan to run Awesome Feather in the $2 million Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I). That 1 1/16 mile race will be at Churchill Downs Nov. 5.
Roger Urbina’s Reprized Halo, at 46-1, beat Gourmet Dinner by a length in the $350,000 In Reality Stakes at 1 1/16 miles. Gourmet Dinner won the first two legs of the open division in the Florida Stallion Stakes.
Henco Inc’s. and Four Horsemen Racing Stable’s Tannersville beat Bim Bam by a nose in the $75,000 Calder Derby at 1 1/8 miles on turf for 3-year-olds. Tannersville, trained by Henry Collazo, ran the distance in 1:49.32 over a course listed as good.
-Peter D. Fuller’s Trip for A. J. led almost the entire route and beat Gator Brew by 5 3/4 lengths in the $75,000 Calder Oaks for 3-year-old fillies. Trip for A.J., trained by Milt Wolfson, covered the distance in 1:51.12.