Dream Supreme and City Zip are prominent among 21 sprint stars from major racing centers nationwide assembling to face 26 local stars in the five stakes races worth more than $1 million to be run on Saturday's 'Summit of Speed' program at Calder Race Course.
Hall of Fame jockey Pat Day will ride Kinsman Stable's 4-year-old filly Dream Supreme for trainer Bill Mott as the highweight and favorite in the $400,000 Princess Rooney Handicap (gr. III) at six furlongs. The Princess Rooney is the richest sprint for fillies and mares on the North American racing calendar.
Jockey Jorge Chavez gets the call on Charles Thompson, Carl Bowling, and Lakland Farm's City Zip for trainer Linda Rice in the $250,000 Carry Back Stakes for 3-year-olds at six furlongs. The Carry Back was won last year by Caller One.
Dream Supreme was widely regarded as the nation's best sprint filly as a 3-year-old last year and George Steinbrenner's homebred daughter of Seeking the Gold has added to her imposing credentials with grade II stakes victories at Aqueduct and Churchill Downs this year. Day won the Princess Rooney last year aboard Hurricane Bertie and will be a short-priced favorite on Dream Supreme in a field of nine fillies and mares.
Bertram, Elaine and Richard Klein's 4-year-old filly Hidden Assets is likely to be second choice under Jorge Chavez. She defeated Dream Supreme in the Shirley Jones Handicap (gr. III) at Gulfstream Park in mid-February. Hidden Assets is trained by Bernie Flint, who sent out the Kleins' Hurricane Bertie last year.
Completing the field for the Princess Rooney are Penny Blues, Eduardo Nunez; Precious Feather, Rosemary Homeister, Jr.; Sugar N Spice, Cornelio Velasquez; Wired to Fly, Mark Guidry; Vague Memory, Willie Martinez; Dynamite Diablo, Aurelio Toribio, Jr.; and Tugger, Aaron Gryder.
City Zip was impressive winning the Jersey Shore Breeders' Cup (gr. III) on July 4 at Momouth Park. Rice brings the colt right back as a probable odds-on choice in a field of 11 3-year-olds entered in the Carry Back.
A dangerous rival could be Kinsman Stable's lightly-raced Illusioned with Cornelio Velasquez getting the call for trainer Bill Mott. The chestnut son of Woodman has won three of four career starts, including a 7-length tally on a muddy track at Belmont last out in 1:09 1/5 for six furlongs.
Another threat appears to be Harry Aleo's Beyond Brilliant with Ron Warren Jr., who invades from Golden Gate Fields in Northern California for trainer Greg Gilchrist. The chestnut colt by High Brite won the San Pedro Stakes at Santa Anita in March and shipped to Delaware Park to capture the Legal Light Stakes last out on June 2.
Beyond Brilliant has an impressive career record of 7-2-0 from 10 starts, his only unplaced effort going 1 1/16 miles last fall at Delaware Park. Gilchrist is best known as the trainer of the brilliant sprint filly Soviet Problem, who was beaten a head when second to Eclipse champion Cherokee Run in the 1994 Breeders' Cup Sprint at Churchill Downs.
Completing the field for the Carry Back are Radical Riley, Horacio Karamanos, Red's Honor, Pat Day; One by the Knows, Mark Guidry; Gallant Frolic, Willie Martinez; Icanseetherain, Andrew Ramgeet; and the entry of Northend, Rosemary Homeister, Jr. and Lois's Legacy, Abel Castellano.
Trainer Ralph Ziadie's dynamic duo of 3-year-old fillies Silk Concorde and Valid Forbes may be the Calder-based horses' best chance for one of the major prizes of the afternoon. They go postward among the favorites in a wide-open field of 11 entered in the $250,000 Azalea Breeders' Cup (gr. III) at six furlongs.
Velasquez gets a return call on E. Paul Robsham's Silk Concorde and Chavez has accepted the mount on Centaur Farm's Valid Forbes. Silk Concorde may get a little more attention than her stablemate after a sharp score in the Hurricane Bertie Stakes here on May 27 in her second start this year.
Valid Forbes, a daughter from the last crop of Valid Appeal, finished second against older mares in the Born Famous Handicap here on June 17 in her first start since Jan. 2. She won the Desert Vixen and My Dear Girl divisions of the Florida Stallion Stakes last year while Silk Concorde denied her a sweep of the series in winning the Susan's Girl in the middle leg.
Formidable invaders appear to be Fred Kissling's Spanish Glitter and Nelson Bunker Hunt's Hattiesburg. Spanish Glitter shows four wins and four seconds from nine starts and was a 6 ¼-lengths winner last out at Churchill Downs. Hattiesburg brings a four-race win streak into the Azalea, three of them stakes races at three different tracks.
Completing the field are Morning Sun, Patra Jean; Lucette, Eduardo Nunez, Cheryl P. Aaron Gryder; I Am Nifty, Rosemary Homeister, Jr.; Xtreme Bid, Donnie Meche; Ousstoura, Frank Lovato, Jr.; and Southern Tour, Carlos Gonzalez.
Michael Cloonan's world traveler Morluc and Mike Ryan and partner's very fast Texas Glitter will be the horses to beat in a field of seven older horses entered in the $100,000 Calder Turf Sprint at five furlongs on turf.