Six horses coming out of the April 25 Sumter Stakes will make up the field for the $100,000 Memorial Day Handicap (gr. III), a 1 1/16-mile route on the dirt May 25 at Calder Race Course.
The top four finishers from the Sumter come back, including winner Motovato, as well as sixth-place finisher Pechito and surprising ninth-place finisher Finallymadeit, the most accomplished horse in the field and last year’s Memorial Day winner. Post time is set for 5:08 p.m. EDT.
Rolbea Thoroughbreds’ Finallymadeit came into the Sumter off a dominating 8 1/4-length wire-to-wire score in the April 4 Skip Away (gr. III) at Gulfstream Park, his 15th lifetime win and second graded stakes triumph. But the 5-year-old son of Concerto—Gold for My Gal, by Gold Alert was hung wide on the first turn in the Sumter and never recovered, fading more than 32 lengths back of the winner under regular rider Eduardo Nunez.
In last year’s Memorial Day, Finallymadeit won in front-running fashion by 3 1/4 lengths. The chestnut horse has only one win in seven starts in 2009, but was runner-up in both the Donn Handicap (gr. I) and Gulfstream Park Handicap (gr. II).
Finallymadeit will carry top weight of 121 pounds. Nunez will ride for trainer Javier Negrete.
Edmund Gann and Michael Jean Zerolo’s Motovato scored the biggest win of his career in the Sumter, as he took over shortly after a half-mile and was all out to hold off Dream Maestro by three parts of a length under Elvis Trujillo. Motovato is a 4-year-old Proud Citizen colt with three wins from eight starts. Jermaine Bridgmohan will ride for Marty Wolfson.
Bill Kaplan trainee Dream Maestro has hit the board in all but one of his five starts in 2009, but his only win was in an optional claimer on April 1 at Gulfstream. The 4-year-old Concerto gelding was second to another current entrant, Hey Byrn, in the 2008 Holy Bull (gr. III).
$100,000 Memorial Day Handicap (gr. III, Race 10, 5:08), 3-Year-Olds and Up, 1 1/16 Miles (Dirt) PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Rehoboth (FL), M Aguilar, 116, E Plesa, Jr.
2. Dream Maestro (FL), M R Cruz, 119, W A Kaplan
3. Motovato (KY), J V Bridgmohan, 118, M D Wolfson
4. Finallymadeit (FL), E O Nunez, 121, J Negrete
5. Hey Byrn (FL), J Sanchez, 117, E Plesa, Jr.
6. Pechito (ARG), Coa, 116, M J Azpurua