Carolyn M. Chapman's Malibu Mint made a remarkable recovery after nearly going down in tight quarters on the far turn, rallying to win the $100,000 Chaposa Springs Handicap for fillies and mares at Calder Race Course Saturday.
The Chaposa Springs was one of four stakes worth $100,000 that comprised Calder's Grand Slam III program.
Under Kristi Chapman, the Calder-based Malibu Mint, a 12-1 shot, took up sharply and slipped back to next to last in the field of nine on the turn. But she rallied four wide in the stretch to win while full of run by three lengths. It was the third straight lopsided win for the James Chapman-trained 3-year-old daughter of Malibu Moon
The final time for the seven-furlong test was 1:24 4/5 on a fast track.
Tigi, ridden by Cornelio Velasquez, also closed powerfully at odds of 20-1 to be second, while the second choice Lilah tired to third for Shannon Uske. Injustice, the 6-5 favorite with John Velazquez aboard, was steadied on the crowded final turn while trying to bear out and finished sixth.
Kuanyan, who finished fourth, set the pace – :22 2/5, :45 2/5 and 1:11 2/5 – before tiring late.
Malibu Mint, coming off a 10 3/4-length win over $20,000 optional claiming/allowance foes at Calder two weeks ago, improved to 4-2-1 in 12 starts while more than doubling her career earnings to $114,890. All but one of her starts have come at Calder.
Malibu Mint returned $27.20, $12.20, and $7.20. Tigi paid $17.60 and $9.20, while Lilah returned $4.20 to show. The $2 exacta returned $332.40.
Dogwood Stable's Drum Major marched to a 2 1/2-length victory in the Pete Axthelm Stakes
. Rafael Bejarano rode the 3-year-old Kentucky bred son of Dynaformer
to victory. Dream On Dream On was second while Therecomesatiger, the post time favorite, finished third.
Trained by George Weaver, Drum Major was making his first start at Calder after having placed in stakes races at Gulfstream and Churchill Downs in 2005. The Pete Axthelm marks the colt's first stakes victory. He covered the seven and a half furlongs over firm turf in a stakes record 1:26.83.
Drum Major, whose fourth win 11 starts increased his career earnings to $198,598, paid $13, $6 and $3.20; Dream On Dream On returned $7.80 and $3.60; Therecomesatiger paid $2.80 to show.
David Hutson's 3-year-old filly Mocita won the Stage Door Betty Handicap
, coming from off the pace to register a 1 1/2-length victory. Special Report was second while Pitanga finished third.
Winner of the Stormy Frolic overnight stakes by seven lengths in her last race at Calder for trainer Marty Wolfson, Mocita, a daughter of Boundary
, won her fourth race of 2005 and sixth lifetime. The victory pushes her career earnings to $166,220. Jockey Eddie Castro was in the irons.
Mocita covered the 1 1/16-mile event in 1:48.56 and paid $11.80, $5.20 and $4.40. Special Report paid $7.40 and $5.00; Pitanga returned $6.20 to show.
Sweet Lips, the 4-5 favorite, finished sixth.