Familiar Faces in 2006 Florida Million Line-Up
Updated: Saturday, November 11, 2006 12:41 PM
(from Calder release)
Posted: Thursday, November 9, 2006 8:21 PM
Live Oak Plantation's 8-year-old millionaire Revved Up, one of the stars of last year's $1.2 million Florida Million program at Calder Race Course, is back to defend his title in Saturday's renewal of the $150,000 Bonnie Heath Cup Handicap.
Also back to defend 2005 Florida Million titles are Joseph Balsamo's 5-year-old Weigelia, invading from Maryland for the $150,000 Jack Dudley Sprint, and Dr. D.K. Paul and Dr. J.C. Benjamin's 5-year-old mare American Miss in the $200,000 Elmer Heubeck Distaff.Revved Up Strong Choice in Bonnie Heath
Jockey Eddie Castro gets the call on Revved Up in a full field of a dozen 3-year-olds for the Bonnie Heath Turf Cup at 1 1/8 miles. Castro guided Revved Up's year-younger half-brother Miesque's Approval to his stunning upset in the $2 million NetJets Mile Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) last Saturday.
Trained by Christophe Clement, the homebred roan/gray gelding by Sultry Song
has posted career earnings of $1.2 million with a highly consistent record of 33-16-7-1, including a 2 ½-length tally over Silver Tree in last year's Bonnie Heath. He has won four of five starts this year, most recently the 12-furlong Sycamore Breeders' Cup (gr. IIIT) last out at Keeneland on Oct. 6.
Revved Up's most dangerous rivals may be Trilogy Stable's 6-year-old Magic Mecke with Edgar Prado aboard for trainer Eddie Plesa, Jr., and Flatbird Stable's 3-year-old Rock Lobster, shipping in from Maryland for trainer Michael Dickinson with Eibar Coa in the irons.
Magic Mecke finished fifth behind Revved Up in the Bonnie Heath last year and didn't run again until capturing the Mecke Handicap over the Calder course on July 4. In two starts since, the homebred son of Mecke finished a troubled fifth in The Vid overnight stakes and was up in time for an allowance score last out on Sept. 29.
Rock Lobster is a chestnut son of Mt. Livermore that captured the Woodlawn Stakes at Pimlico in May and Saranac Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Saratoga in early September. He tried older horses and 12 furlongs for the first time in the Kentucky Cup Turf (gr. IIIT) at Kentucky Downs last out on Sept. 20, finishing sixth, but beaten only three lengths.Take D'Tour, Sunset Kisses Clash in Elmer Heubeck
American Miss captured the Elmer Heubeck last year, but hasn't won in 10 starts since, leaving her an outsider among nine fillies and mares drawn for the 1 1/16-mile test. Alice Muller's grade I stakes winner Take D'Tour is the probable favorite under Eibar Coa.
Trained by David Fawkes, Take D'Tour is a 5-year-old homebred daughter of Tour d'Or that emerged as a division leader in the spring when shipping out of Calder to capture the Shuvee Handicap (gr. II) and Ogden Phipps Handicap (gr. I) at Belmont Park. She ran another good one when second in the Ruffian Handicap (gr. I) in September.
Carson Springs Farm's 6-year-old homebred mare Sunset Kisses was a proven stakes performer in Chicago this summer for owner-breeder Christine Janks before being sent to Calder-based trainer Ron Spatz. The daughter of Sky Classic
has run at Calder twice with jockey Manoel Cruz, capturing an overnight stakes and finishing second in the Shocker T Handicap last out on Oct. 14. Cruz has the mount again Saturday.Weigelia, Mister Fotis in Jack Dudley Rematch
Weigelia began his career at Calder with trainer Manny Azpurua, winning the Carry Back Stakes (gr. II) as a 3-year-old on Summit of Speed day in 2004. But he has spent most of the last two seasons based at Laurel Park in Maryland with trainer Michael Trombetta.
Eibar Coa rides Weigelia to defend his title in the six-furlong Jack Dudley Sprint facing nine rival 3-year-olds and up, including Alago Inc.'s 5-year-old Mister Fotis, who finished second in this race last year for trainer Marty Wolfson.
Weigelia, a son of Safely's Mark with earnings of $827,000, shipped back to Calder this summer to finish third in the Smile Sprint Handicap (gr. II) on Summit of Speed day July 15 behind Nightmare Affair.
Weigelia was a game winner of an overnight stakes last out at Delaware Park on Oct. 14.
Mister Fotis, a chestnut horse by Diligence
, scored his biggest career victory at Gulfstream Park on March 4, defeating Sir Greeley in the Richter Scale Breeders' Cup (gr. II). He finished a respectable fifth in the Smile Sprint, rallying from 12th-place after a half-mile, but checked in sixth in his lone start since then, going two turns in the Spend A Buck Handicap (gr. III) on Oct. 14.Big Lover, Rehoboth Get Rematch in Carl Rose Classic
Michael Sherman's Big Lover and J. Robert Harris, Jr.'s Rehoboth are 3-year-olds that finished second and third, respectively, last out in the Spend A Buck Handicap against older horses on Festival of the Sun day, Oct. 14. The two meet again Saturday in the $200,000 Carl Rose Classic at 1 1/8 miles.
Manoel Cruz gets a return call on Big Lover for trainer Angel Salinas and Eibar Coa rides Rehoboth for veteran horseman Frank Gomez in the Carl Rose. A field of nine 3-year-olds are to go to the post.
Big Lover is a chestnut homebred son of Ecton Park
that was a nine-length allowance winner over older horses at Calder prior to the Spend A Buck, where he was beaten only a length by the winner. Rehoboth is a son of Wagon Limit
who finished only a half-length behind Big Lover in the Spend A Buck after capturing a pair of Calder overnight stakes.
Greg Besinger's 5-year-old gelding Summer Book, fourth last out in the Hawthorne Gold Cup (gr. II) for trainer Niall O'Callaghan, and Rodney Lundock's 6-year-old gelding Supervisor, beaten a head by Manny Tortora-trained stablemate Whos Crying Now in last year's edition of the Carl Rose, figure to get attention.Two-Year-Old Stakes Round Out Menu
Completing the line-up of stakes to be run on Saturday's Florida Million program are four events for 2-year-olds: the $150,000 Jack Price Juvenile and $150,000 Joe O'Farrell Juvenile Fillies, companion events at seven furlongs on the main track; and the $100,000 Arthur Appleton Juvenile Turf and $100,000 John Franks Juvenile Fillies Turf, companion events scheduled for 1 1/16 miles on turf.
Walter Donnelly's Straight Faced and Luis Olivares' Green Vegas square off for the fifth time in their young careers in the Jack Price, which drew a field of 11. Straight Faced is a son of Straight Man
trained by Steve DiMauro who looked brilliant winning his first four career starts. He tasted defeat for the first time when fourth as the odds-on favorite in the In Reality Division of the Florida Stallion Stakes on Oct. 14.
Green Vegas chased Straight Faced home in three sprint stakes earlier in the season, but the son of Trippi
has won both of his starts since then – both around two turns in the Foolish Pleasure Breeders' Cup and In Reality.
Jerome Cohen and Michael Sherman's highly consistent filly Silkily will be among the choices in a field of eight 2-year-old fillies entered in the Joe O'Farrell. However, the homebred daughter of Line in the Sand has an unfortunate habit of finishing second, which she did in all three filly divisions of the Florida Stallion Stakes.
Owner-trainer Luis Olivares also entered Green Vegas in the Arthur Appleton Juvenile Turf, which would allow him to continue running around two turns and try turf for the first time in a full field of 12.
However, the horse to beat in the race may be David and Teresa Palmer's Storm in May, a son of Tiger Ridge
that has won both of his starts on turf impressively for trainer Bill Kaplan after capturing one of four tries on the main track.
Trainer David Brownlee sends out J D Farm's entry of Pretoria Light and Dantrelle Light in the John Franks Juvenile Fillies Turf. Both show promising turf form and will be facing nine rivals, including Lisa and Eliah Kahn's Kentucky shipper Perfect Motion. The daughter of Wild Event
won her only start on Polytrack at Keeneland for trainer Ken McPeek.
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