(Edited Calder Race Course reports)
Trainer Marty Wolfson pulled off the hat trick on the June 14 “Summit of Speed” preview card at Calder Race Course, winning three of the four $100,000 stakes.
Wolfson’s winners were M375 Thoroughbreds and Suarez Racing Stable’s 3-year-old colt Golden Spikes, who won the six-furlong Unbridled Stakes, Live Oak Plantation’s homebred 4-year-old gelding Rockerfeller, who took the Ponche Handicap, and Miklin Stable’s 5-year-old mare Dixie Dreamer, winner of the U Can Do It Stakes.
The fourth stake, the Leave Me Alone Stakes, was won by Caroni Stable’s 3-year-old filly Orinoquia, trained by Rodolfo Garcia.
Sent off as the 3-to-5 favorite, Golden Spikes rated just off the early pace set by Brooks ‘n Down and Gentleman James and gained the advantage turning for home. The Kentucky-bred covered the six panels in 1:10.39 to defeat a game Gentleman James by a head. Make Me Zach finished a distant 10 ¼ lengths back in third.
Golden Spikes had been considered a Triple Crown prospect and was competing against grade II company at longer distances. Golden Spikes paid $3.20, $2.40 and $2.10. Gentleman James returned $4.80 and $2.40, while Make Me Zach paid $3.60 to show.
“He’s really not a sprinter (six-furlongs),” Wolfson said. “When he opened up the way he did today, I think it was a little confusing for him. I guess we’ll stay around now for the (grade II) Carry Back ($250,000 on July 12) and hopefully there will be more speed in there for him to run at. I think he’s probably best at seven-eighths to a mile.”
In the Ponche Handicap, Rockerfeller rolled seven-length victory over How’s Your Halo. The pace-setting Blue Pepsi Lodge finished third.
Rockerfeller, who won his Calder debut last out also at six furlongs by six lengths, raced off the brisk early pace set by the favored Blue Pepsi Lodge and closed in on the leader with about a sixteenth of a mile to go. The winner drew off impressively and covered the distance in a quick 1:10.17. Rockerfeller paid $19.20, $11.80 and $5.20. How’s Your Halo returned $13.60 and $6.40, while Blue Pepsi Lodge paid $4.40, saving the show.
Juan Leyva, the jockey aboard How’s Your Halo, claimed foul against the winner for interference down the backstretch, but the objection was disallowed by the stewards.
“This horse is the real deal,” Wolfson said. “I wasn’t at all surprised that he ran so well today. He’s a fast horse and trained well. All my horses trained good coming up to their races. I’ve only had this horse about two months when he came to me from Live Oak (Farm in Ocala). He might not have liked the Polytrack in Canada last year and the Fair Grounds track this winter. He’ll go on to the (grade II) Smile ($400,000 on July 12) like the others.”
Dixie Dreamer, racing near the middle of the track down the stretch under jockey Jermaine Bridgmohan, arrived at the finish line just in time to catch the front-running favorite Rgirldoesn’tbluff, in the $100,000 U Can Do It Handicap. Bereba was 1 ¼ lengths behind in third place.
Dixie Dreamer was rated in fourth place while Rgirldoesn’tbluff openedup on the field in the six-furlong contest. With a sixteenth of a mile to go, Rgirldoesn’tbluff appeared to be a winner, but Dixie Dreamer was gaining fast, despite drifting out to the middle of the track. The winner covered the three-quarters of a mile in 1:11.07.
It was the second consecutive win for Dixie Dreamer at Calder. She paid $8.60, $3.00 and $2.10. Rgirldoesn’tbluff returned $2.80 and $2.10 to place, while Bereba paid $2.60 to show.
“She’s been training tremendous,” said the trainer. “We’ll go into the (grade I) Princess Rooney ($400,000 on July 12) much better than last year. She had just come into my barn less than a month before (finished 8th). She’s a different horse this year.”
Meanwhile, Orinoquia used the Leave Me Alone to prep for the $250,000, grade III Azalea Stakes on the July 12 Summit of Speed card.
Sent off as the favorite, Orinoquia came from off the pace to defeat Sadie’s Time by 5 ¼ lengths and getting the distance in 1:12.12. Freedom Afleet, the early pacesetter, finished three-quarters of a length back in third position. Orinoquia paid $6.40, $5.40 and $2.40. Sadie’s Time returned $4.40 and $3.40, with Freedom Afleet paying $4.40 to show.
“She got back there pretty far early, but when I saw them hang up 21 2/5 (first quarter), I felt pretty good,” said trainer Rodolfo Garcia. “Since the race at Gulfstream when she was a big longshot and finished third (121-to-1 in the Old Hat on Jan. 12), I thought the best thing for her was to sit off the pace.”