The 2-year-old filly Calico Bay had finished behind Silk Ridge in their last three races. Silk Ridge was attempting to sweep the FSS filly division for trainer Gordon Potter.
The 7-10 choice Silk Ridge, ridden by Manny Aguilar, looked like a winner with a 1 1/2-length lead at the furlong mark of the 1 1/16-mile main track test, but she was badly outrun from there as Calico Bay and Manoel Cruz made steady progress in the lane to win going away. Silk Ridge finished second by 1 3/4 lengths over Awesome Dreamer, with Eduardo Nunez aboard.
Trained by Bill Kaplan for Ione and Herbert J. Elkins, Calico Bay covered the distance over a good main track in 1:48.49 and paid $13.80, $4, and $3. Silk Ridge returned $2.60 and $2.20. Awesome Dreamer paid $2.80.
“I wasn’t too happy when she didn’t break and ended up last, but sometimes things work out for the best," Kaplan said. "She was able to relax back there while most of the others were kind of bunched up front. She’s been a good filly from the start, and today was her day.
"We won’t do anything that drastic with her from here (in regard to the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies), just see how she comes back and then make a decision.”
It was the fifth Florida Stallion Stakes victory for the Elkinses and Kaplan. Calico Bay, a bay daughter of Three Wonders--Countrywishingwell (by Country Pine) has compiled a 2-2-1 record in five lifetime starts. The $240,000 winning share shot her career earnings to $325,500. Bred in Florida by Hidden Point Farm, Calico Bay sold for $15,000 as a 2-year-old in training at the Ocala Breeders' Sale Company spring sale.
She was coming off a third-place finish in the Brave Raj at Calder Sept. 22 after running second in each of the first two legs of the FSS, the Susan's Girl and Desert Vixen, also at Calder. Silk Ridge won all three races.
“She didn’t relax very well early in the race and the way the race track came up, I don’t think helped her either," Potter said of the beaten choice. "Still, she ran a good race. She just got beat. She’s done quite a lot for us and given us some big days. I’m not sure what’s ahead. She might need a little rest now.”
J D Farms homebred Wise Answer continued to dominate his Florida juvenile competition this season with his third successive bomb at Calder for trainer David Brownlee, this time in the In Reality division.
Beautifully ridden by Eibar Coa -- who was aboard the Wised Up colt for the first time -- Wise Answer raced in third while saving ground for the entire 1 1/16-mile journey. The bay slipped through along the rail approaching the quarter pole as pacesetter Inner Light backed up. In a matter of a few strides, he was firmly in control and owned a five-length lead at the head of the stretch.
Wise Answer ran second in the opening leg of the FSS, the Dr. Fager, 2 1/4 lengths behind Big City Man, but he's been invincible since. He won the next leg, the Affirmed Sept. 1, by 6 3/4 lengths, then captured the open Foolish Pleasure Stakes at Calder by nearly five lengths Sept. 22. His fourth win in six starts increased his earnings to $441,800.
“This race was flawless," exclaimed Brownlee, who said Wise Answer would not contest the Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) in two weeks. “We'll give him a breather now. He’s had five tough races, so he'll get about a month off and come back in the fall.”
Sent off at odds of 2-5, the winner covered the distance in 1:43 2/5 on a good track. The maiden Cigar Man, ridden by Cornelio Velasquez, rallied for second with Check It Twice and Manoel Cruz three-quarters of a length back in third.
The winner paid $2.80, $2.40, and $2.20. Cigar Man, with his third successive runner-up showing, returned $6.40 and $4. Check It Twice was $3.60 to show.
In the $200,000 Calder Oaks, also part of the "Festival of the Sun" program, Cozzi Capital collared pacesetter Casa Mimaty in deep stretch, then held off Snow Cone in the final strides for a half-length victory on a yielding Calder turf Oct. 13.
A 3-year-old daughter of Cozzene--Capital Request (by Repriced), Cozzi Capital earned the first stakes victory of her nine-race career. She was ridden to victory by Eibar Coa for Herman Wilensky, who bred and trains the Kentucky-bred and owns her in partnership with D and E Horses. The third win of her career was worth $121,520, increasing the gray filly's bankroll to $169,780.
The winning time was 1:53.10 on the soft going for the nine-furlong distance. Snow Cone, ridden by Elvis Trujillo, finished three-quarters of a length in front of Casa Mimaty and Julio Garcia. Casa Mimaty led by 2 1/2 lengths at the furlong marker but could not hold off Cozzi Capital, who enjoyed a ground-saving trip under Coa. It was three parts of a length to the 13-10 favorite, Lady Digby, in fourth.
Cozzi Capital came into the Calder Oaks after running third in three successive overnight stakes on the Calder turf.
Sent off as the third choice in the field of seven, the winner paid $9.40, $4.60 and $3. Second-pick Snow Cone returned $3.60 and $2.40. Casa Mimaty was $4 to show.
“She did what she was supposed to do, and I was glad because she’s had some rough trips," Wilensky. "She closed pretty good in the stretch over the soft going. I had her mother, and bred her, so she has really been a great story. Hope it doesn’t end here.”