After nearly six months on the sidelines, Stanley Ersoff's Band Is Passing returns to the races in Monday's $150,000 Miami Mile Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Calder.
The 6-year-old won the race two years ago, and his last trip over the Calder layout resulted in a victory in the Tropical Turf Handicap (gr. IIIT) last December. In two starts this year, the son of Pass the Line finished second to Cetewayo in the Gulfstream Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IT), and then fifth as the favorite in the Equalize Stakes at Gulfstream in March. He has earned $622,406 and won 11 of 27 starts.
"He's only had two works and ideally I might have gotten another one into him," said Ersoff, who also trains. "He's had some minor problems, as horses his age will. But he's doing very well and the race is here."
Unite's Big Red, an 8-year-old gelding owned by Randy Mills, will also contest the Miami Mile. He too is a past winner of the race, taking it in 1998 as a 4-year-old. Unite's Big Red also returns off a layoff, having last raced April 28. He has won 12 of 43 starts good for $819,850.
Other probable starters include Pisces, who finished third in last year's Miami Mile; Built Up; Junior Deputy; Marquette; and Simmer.