Undefeated Happy Ticket will be looking for her 10th straight victory in Saturday's Princess Rooney Handicap (gr. II) at Calder Race Course, but the Andrew Leggio Jr. trainee will have to get past multiple graded stakes winner Madcap Escapade for the win. The two will compete in a field of eight top fillies and mares lined up for the six-furlong sprint, the 11th race on Calder's $1.9 million Summit of Speed card.
A homebred for Stewart Madison, 4-year-old Happy Ticket will be making her third start of the year after winning the Suthern Accent Stakes at Louisiana Downs in May, followed by her first graded victory in the June 18 Chicago Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) going seven furlongs at Arlington Park.
Happy Ticket's perfect 3-year-old campaign was highlighted by a four-length score in the Louisiana Champions Day Ladies Stakes. The daughter of Anet will carry a co-second highweight of 117 for Saturday's race, breaking from post five under jockey Eddie Castro, who has a leg up for the first time.
Madcap Escapade, who set a Gulfstream Park track record for seven furlongs (1:22.06) earlier this year in the Shirley Jones Handicap (gr. II), will be returning after a two-month layoff since finishing a disappointing fifth in the Humana Distaff Handicap (gr. I) on Kentucky Derby day.
Trained by Frank Brothers for Bruce Lunsford, Madcap Escapade gained a considerable following last year by winning her first three career starts at Gulfstream Park by a combined 26 lengths. Bred by Needham/Betz Thoroughbreds and James Blackburn in Kentucky, the daughter of Hennessy
won the April 13 Vinery Madison Stakes (gr. III) at Keeneland, where she took home the Ashland Stakes (gr. I) trophy last year.
Highweight Madcap Escapade will carry 120, breaking from the outside with jockey Jerry Bailey.
Another top-class mare in the field is Lois Nervitt's Sensibly Chic, who enters the race off a win in the 6 1/2-furlong Vagrancy Handicap (gr. II) at Belmont. Trained by Timothy Tullock Jr., the daughter of Distorted Humor
began the year winning the What a Summer Stakes at Laurel Park, followed by three runner-up efforts in grade II company.
Sensibly Chic was bred in Kentucy by McMahon Thoroughbreds and Win Star Farm. Breaking from post seven, Sensibly Chic will carry 117 under jockey Cornelio Velasquez.
Molto Vita, who finished second behind My Trusty Cat in the Humana Distaff, will be another one to watch. Trained by Dallas Stewart for Canadian owner John Gunther, Molto Vita will enter the race off a 1 1/2-length score in the $100,000 Winning Colors Stakes at Churchill Downs May 28.
Bred in Kentucky by TAC Holding, the 5-year-old Carson City mare's 2005 campaign includes two thirds in the Hurricane Bertie Handicap (gr. III) at Gulfstream Park and the Vinery Madison.
Jockey Mike Smith has the mount. The pair will break from gate three, carrying 115. $500,000 Princess Rooney Handicap ( gr. II), Calder Race Course, July 9, 3-year-olds and up, fillies and mares, six furlongs, dirt, estimated local post time 5:44 p.m.
P -- Horse, Weight, Jockey
1 -- Sorbet, 110, Russell A. Baze
2 -- Wild Speed, 113, Carlos Olivero
3 -- Molto Vita, 115, Mike E. Smith
4 -- Prospective Saint, 112, Jorge F. Chavez
5 -- Happy Ticket, 117, Eddie Castro
6 -- Savorthetime, 114, Julio A. Garcia
7 -- Sensibly Chic, 117, Cornelio H. Velasquez
8 --Madcap Escapade, 120, Jerry D. Bailey