Edited from Calder Race Course's track notes
Calder Racing Secretary Bob Umphrey has released the nominations to four stakes, three graded, worth a total of $600,000 to be run on Calder's Grand Slam II program on Saturday, Dec, 28.
The $200,000 W.L. McKnight Handicap (gr. II) and the $200,000 La Prevoyante Handicap (gr. II) are two of the track's most prestigious fixtures as companion events at 1 1/2 miles on turf with the latter restricted to fillies and mares.
Trainer Christophe Clement has won four renewals of the La Prevoyante and appears intent on making it five as he has five of the 20 nominees in his powerful Payson Park barn. The French-born horseman won back-to-back renewals of the race with the late Gerald Leigh's outstanding filly Coretta.
Trainer Shug McGaughey won last year's La Prevoyante with Stonerside Stable's Krisada and may bid for another this year with Helen Alexander and partners' Amelia, who won the Frances A. Genter Stakes here last year.
Prominent among the 23 nominees for the 31st running of the McKnight are Augustin Stable's Rochester, Mike Shanley's Whitmore's Conn, On Target Racing's Williams News, and Caesar Kimmel and Ronald Nicholson's Gritty Sandie.
The $100,000 Fred W. Hooper Handicap (gr. III) for 3-year-olds and up at 1 1/8 miles on the main track could come up particularly strong this year. The 12 nominees including Bea Oxenberg's Best of the Rest, John Oxley's Booklet, Barbara Smollin's Sir Bear and Sez Who Racing Stable's The Judge Sez Who.
Booklet first emerged on the national racing scene here last year when he won the $400,000 In Reality division of the Florida Stallion Stakes and was purchased privately by Oxley and placed with trainer John Ward, Jr. The son of Notebook became an early season leader in the 3-year-old division.
The $100,000 Stage Door Betty Handicap for fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles on the main track drew 11 nominees, including Town and Country Stable's local division leader Coolbythepool and Joseph Graffeo‚s Two Item Limit.
to see the complete list of nominations.