The $400,000 In Reality and $400,000 My Dear Girl finale divisions of the Florida Stallion Stakes series will be among the highlights of an outstanding card at Calder Saturday.
The 20th runnings of the In Reality and My Dear Girl Stakes for 2-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles will climax a program that will offer five other stakes with purses totaling $700,000. There also will be a special 'All Stakes Pick Four,' with a guaranteed pool of $100,000.
Thompson Stable's undefeated Carey's Gold bids to become the fifth juvenile colt to sweep the three divisions of the Florida Stallion Stakes when he goes to the post with 13 rivals in the In Reality. He will have to overcome the outside post position 14.
Trained by Henry Collazo, Carey's Gold will have jockey Jorge Chavez aboard for the first time. Roger I. Velez guided the son of Gold Alert to wins in the Dr. Fager and Affirmed divisions. Originally a $1,200 yearling purchase, the chestnut was bought privately after winning his career debut for a $40,000 claiming price in mid-July.
A formidable rival will be Philip and Marcia Cohen and trainer Steve Klesaris' Booklet, invading from Delaware Park with former Calder-based riding star Eibar Coa flying in for the mount.
A son of Notebook purchased for $36,000 at the Ocala Breeders' Sales Co.'s August yearling sale, Booklet has won three of four, including the two-turn, one-mile Dover Stakes last out by more than four lengths. In his lone defeat, he finished third to Jump Star in the Saratoga Special (gr. II).
Also expected to get a lot of attention is Bog Hunter, a chestnut colt by Hunting Hard that was impressive winning the other division of the Affirmed for trainer Debbie Thacker. Jockey Eduardo Nunez gets a return call.
Completing the field for the In Reality are Cosmic Sea, Julio Garcia; O'Rocky, Roger Velez; Jet Thrust, Cornelio Velasquez; Mountain Forum, Abel Castellano, Jr.; He'sachicmagnet, Jose Rivera II; Rulebook, Jose Santos; Major Mecke, Jerry Bailey; Lead By Example, Jeremy Beasley; Royal Lad, Rosemary Homeister Jr.; Thiscannonsloaded, Manuel Aguilar; and Cash In Hand, Abdiel Toribio Jr.
Trainer Ralph Ziadie sends out a solid team of Centaur Farm's Pharmstar and Redoubled Miss in a field of nine 2-year-old fillies entered in the My Dear Girl with jockeys Jerry Bailey and Julio Garcia aboard, respectively.
Ziadie swept the filly divisions of the FSS last year with Centaur Farm's Valid Forbes winning the Desert Vixen and My Dear Girl and E. Paul Robsham's Silk Concorde taking the Susan's Girl.
Pharmstar kept the trainer's streak alive this year with an impressive score in the Desert Vixen. The homebred daughter of freshman sire Adhocracy was the strong half of a 3-5 entry in the Susan's Girl, but finished second behind Hardacre Farm's Bold World.
Redoubled Miss also is a homebred daughter of Adhocracy and had a bad day when unplaced in the Susan's Girl. However, she bounced back with a good effort to finish second by a head behind Ms Brookski in the subsequent Brave Raj Stakes going a mile and 70 yards on Sept. 22.
Rosemary Homeister Jr. has ridden Ms Brookski in all of her six starts for veteran horseman Reed Combest, father of the filly's owner, and will be back in the saddle Saturday. The daughter of Montbrook had won a one-mile allowance by more than 11 lengths prior to the Brave Raj.
Bold World won the Susan's Girl as a maiden after only a second-place career debut at Ellis Park. A $475,000 OBS April 2-year-old purchase, the daughter of Fortunate Prospect is trained by Ron Taylor. Favored in the Brave Raj, she tired to fifth in her third career start, although beaten only 2 1/2 lengths by Ms Brookski.
Completing the field for the My Dear Girl are Suave Queen, Jorge Chavez; Midnight Charmer, Eibar Coa; Always Country, Abel Castellano, Jr.; Blissful Kiss, Cornelio Velasquez; and Sweep Princess, Eduardo Nunez.
Barbara Smollin's handicap star Sir Bear makes a rare appearance on his home track when he faces a solid field of seven rivals, including Bea Oxenberg's Best of the Rest and Rose Family Stable's Hal's Hope, in the $100,000 Spend a Buck Handicap.
Fall Racing Stable's O K to Dance and M375 Stable's Platinum Tiara are prominent in a strong field of 11 3-year-old fillies entered in the $200,000 Calder Oaks at 1 1/8 miles on turf. Also accorded a big chance in the well-balanced field are Sheppard's Watch, trained by Christophe Clement, and Sara's Success, winner of the Convenience Stakes over the course by more than six lengths in her last start.