The 6-year-old son of Flatter scored the 1 1/16-mile main track event by 6 1/4 lengths a year ago and while it wasn’t that easy this time around, he was good enough to best 1-2 favorite Mambo Meister for his second graded stakes victory.
Mad Flatter completed the distance of the fast track in 1:46.07 with Jon Court aboard. Jeff Thornbury trains the bay horse, who won for the eighth time in 26 lifetime starts. He has now earned $333,843.
The winner was bred in Florida and is out of the Honor Grades mare Miss Panagea. He is co-owned by Holiday Stable, Bright Brook Stable, and Hinkle Farms.
Mad Flatter received a comfortable stalking trip under Court, tracking pacesetter Rock Alex through easy fractions of :24.57 and :49.30 before taking over on the far turn. He had a clear lead entering the lane and his only threat was Mambo Meister, an eight-time winner on the Calder dirt.
Though Mambo Meister methodically closed the gap in the stretch, he never put a scare into the winner. It was another 5 1/4 lengths back to third-place Stimulus Plan.
Mad Flatter won for the second time in seven starts this season. His other victory came in an optional claimer in June at Churchill Downs. He paid $7.40, $3, and $3. The exacta (4-7) returned $15.60.
“He obviously loves this racetrack," Bonnie Heath said. "We were right here 364 days ago. We went on to the Breeders’ Cup (Dirt Mile). It was a once in a lifetime opportunity for this horse, so we took the chance, but he stumbled at the start and never got in it.
The Carl Rose (Handicap) is coming up here next month (Nov. 12) and is an option, but we’ll have to talk to Jeffrey before deciding where to go from here.”
Later in the day at Calder, Jacks or Better Farm’s homebred 2-year-old colt Fort Loudon won the $300,000 In Reality Division of the Florida Stallion Stakes, giving the owner/breeder and trainer Stanley Gold a third consecutive sweep.
Jockey Luis Jurado has ridden Fort Loudon to each of his Florida Stallion Stakes victories this year. Sent off as the favorite, Fort Loudon defeated Twin by 2 1/2 lengths and covered 1 1/16 miles in 1:48.29 on the fast dirt. He paid $6, $4.40, and $3.20.
Sarava's Dancer, who set the early pace with Fort Loudon not far behind, finished third.
“I guess this is the icing on the cake," Gold said. "I thought he could do it (sweep). I need to ask Luis what he thought. It looked like he hesitated while he was alongside the other horse in the upper stretch before he went on and drew off. I feel so fortunate to have had these nice horses the last few years.”
Jacks or Better, Gold, and Jurado also won the $300,000 My Dear Girl Division of the Florida Stallion Stakes with homebred 2-year-old filly Awesome Belle, who was a runaway 7 1/2-length winner.
Awesome Belle set the pace in the 1 1/16 miles contest, completing the distance in 1:47.46. Macanuda finished second, and Redbud Road--a stablemate of Awesome Belle and winner of the Desert Vixen Division of the Florida Stallion Stakes in August--came in third.
Awesome Belle paid $8.80, $5.00, and $4.00. The favorite, Queen Drama, finished sixth in the field of eight.
Owner/beeder said Fred Brei said both Fort Loudon and Awesome Belle could be pointed to the Breeders' Cup next month.