On Saturday, Calder Race Course hosts Grand Slam I, with four stakes races offered with purses of $100,000 each. The four Grand Slam I races, consisting of three graded stakes and the Three Ring Stakes, will comprise a $100,000 guaranteed pick four. In addition to the Grand Slam I races, the 12-race card begins with the $50,000 Tropical Park Steeplechase Handicap (NSA-II).
Grand Slam I begins with the My Charmer Handicap (gr. IIIT), a 1 1/8-mile turf test for fillies and mares 3-years-old and up. A full field of 12, plus two also eligibles, are entered, including five horses who won a stakes race in their most recent start. Wild Heart Dancing, a wire-to-wire winner of the Atenia Handicap (gr. IIIT), and Megans Bluff, the front-running winner of the Mrs. Revere (gr. IIT) are the 116-pound co-highweights along with Idle Rich. Idle Rich finished fourth in the Athenia, following a wire-to-wire win in the All Along (gr. III) in early October.
Thunder Bertie returns from a seventh-place finish in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) to run in the 1 1/16-mile Three Ring Stakes. Highweighted at 120 pounds, Thunder Bertie will face seven other 2-year-old fillies in the Three Ring.
Two-year-old males are up next in the What A Pleasure Stakes (gr. III), in which Mr Notebook will switch back to the main track after winning two straight stakes on the turf. Trained by Enrique Alonso, Mr Notebook will be guided from post position one by jockey Edgar Prado.
The last of the four races is the Tropical Turf Handicap (gr. IIIT). The 12-horse field -- with three also eligibles -- is headed by locally-based Band Is Passing, who will attempt to win his fourth straight race in the 1 1/8-mile turf race. The 4-year-old Pass the Limit colt has won four of six races this year and is undefeated since finishing 11th in the Dubai Duty Free (UAE-III) in March. Delay of Game is Band Is Passing's top threat, especially if the turf is rated something less than firm. (Entries, Equibase