J. Robert Harris Jr.’s 4-year-old Rehoboth is the most accomplished of eight older horses entered in Monday’s $100,000 Memorial Day Handicap (gr. III) at Calder Race Course, but the confirmed stretch-runner usually needs plenty of pace in front him to produce his best rally.
Leading jockey Manoel Cruz guided Rehoboth in his last two starts, a very good runner-up effort when second by a head in the Skip Away Handicap (gr. III) at Gulfstream Park on Mar. 31 and a non-threatening fourth-place finish as the favorite last out in the Sumter overnight stakes here on May 5.
Trained by veteran horseman Frank Gomez, the son of Wagon Limit with career earnings of $420,000 just missed by a head behind A.P. Arrow in the Skip Away with Political Force third. Rehoboth was rallying in the stretch after the leaders went three-quarters in 1:10 3/5. In contrast, Rehoboth never looked like winning when fourth, beaten 6 1/2 lengths in the Sumter by long shot Too Many Toyz, who led from the start with a moderate pace of 1:12 1/5 for three quarters.
Jockey Carlos Olivero gets a return call on 4-year-old Too Many Toyz in the Memorial Day for trainer Bill White. The son of Northern Afleet ran a big race in the Sumter, particularly considering it was his first start since Nov. 11 when he tired to finish last of nine in the $200,000 Carl Rose Classic on Calder's Florida Million Day. Rehoboth charged from off the pace to victory in that one.
There appears to be plenty of speed among other contenders in Monday’s field, including Raymond Larkin’s 5-year-old Siphon City, who won the Memorial Day last year going wire-to-wire as he was hitting peak form. The son of Siphon then shipped to Iowa where he won the $325,000 Cornhusker Breeders’ Cup (gr. II) at Prairie Meadows by six lengths in his next start.
Jockey Manny Aguilar gets the call on Siphon City for trainer Dan Hurtak, but the big chestnut has a lot to overcome making his first start since finishing eighth of nine in a Gulfstream allowance test on Jan 12, his sixth consecutive off-the-board performance since the Cornhusker.
Live Oak Plantation’s 5-year-old Electric Light finished second behind Too Many Toyz and nearly four lengths ahead of Rehoboth in the Sumter and will line up for Monday’s race with jockey Eduardo Nunez in the saddle for trainer Marty Wolfson.
A roan/gray son of Silver Ghost, Electric Light was back on the main track for the Sumter after making his previous five starts on turf during the Gulfstream winter season.
Another come-from-behind threat in the Memorial Day is Carol and George Nyren’s 4-year-old gelding Dry Martini with Elvis Trujillo aboard for trainer Harry Benson. The roan/gray son of Slew Gin Fizz was impressive winning a Gulfstream allowance on Mar. 2 in his last start by 8 3/4 lengths after a fourth-place in the Sunshine Millions Classic there in late January. He was beaten only 1 1/2 lengths for it all by McCann’s Mohave.
$100,000 Memorial Day Handicap (gr. III, Race 11, 5:40 p.m.), 3 & Up, 1 1/16 Miles
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Big Lover (FL), 115, Abel Castellano, Jr.
2. Cheiron (CA), 113, Roimes Chirinos
3. Dry Martini (FL), 114, Elvis Trujillo
4. Siphon City (KY), 116, Manuel Aguilar
5. Rexson's Rose (FL), 113, Rosemary B. Homeister, Jr.
6. Too Many Toyz (FL), 116, Carlos Olivero
7. Rehoboth (FL), 115, Manoel R. Cruz
8. Electric Light (KY), 114, Eduardo O. Nunez