William and Annabel Murphy's homebred The Name's Bond should be a solid choice to win for the fourth time in his last five starts Saturday as he faces six rival 3-year-olds in the $100,000 Unbridled Stakes at Calder Race Course.
Jockey Gary Boulanger gets the return call on The Name's Bond in the 1 1/16-mile test for trainer Frank Gomez, Calder's all-time leader for stakes victories with 104.
Gomez' last came with The Name's Bond when the son of Jules drew clear to win the Simply Majestic Stakes on May 24 by nearly seven lengths in the 1 1/16-mile event on a good main track after the race was forced off turf.
The Name's Bond showed potential as a juvenile last year, finishing second to Trust N Luck in the rich In Reality Division of the Florida Stallion Stakes. His 3-year-old campaign picked up momentum when he won the $100,000 OBS Championship in Ocala in mid-March by three lengths.
Other contenders include Jacks or Better Stable's Hear No Evil, with jockey Eduardo Nunez in the saddle for trainer Jim Hatchett, and Rosemary Homeister Jr. aboard James Lewis, Jr.'s Whos Crying Now.
Hear No Evil finished second to The Name's Bond in the Simply Majestic. The homebred son of Carson City won the Criterium Stakes early last summer and has been competing in stakes ever since, placing in five.
In his first try over a distance in mid-March, the chestnut ran a very big race as a 35-to-1 longshot to finish third in the Tampa Bay Derby (gr. III) behind highly regarded Region of Merit, beaten only one length for it all after setting all the pace.
Whos Crying Now is trained by Gomez' longtime friend and rival Manny Tortora, who has won more races at Calder than anyone with more than 1,200 victories. Whos Crying Now is a son of Concerto in good form after a solid second, beaten a half-length by Tortora-trained stablemate Patriotic Flame in the Royal Glint overnight stakes on May 31.
The 'wild card' in the Unbridled is Eugene and Laura Melnyk's Hackleton's Cliff to be ridden by Paul Toscano. Trained by Bill White, the well-bred son of Grand Slam has won three straight races sprinting but will attempt two turns for the first time Saturday.$100,000 Unbridled Stakes, 3-year-olds, 1 1/16 mile
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Hear No Evil (FL), 119, Eduardo O. Nunez
2. Whos Crying Now (FL), 117, Rosemary B.. Homeister, Jr.
3. The Name's Bond (FL), 122, Gary Boulanger
4. King Cassia (FL), 115, Jesus Lopez Castanon
5. Just Say the Word (KY), 115, Manuel Aguilar
6. Hackleton's Cliff (KY), 115, Paul R. Toscano
7. Mychampion (FL), 117, Jose J. Delgado