Calder Race Course brought the curtain down on its 85-day Calder Meet on
Friday and will begin its 65-day Tropical Meet when the track opens Saturday.
Highlighting the Calder Meet was the 13th edition of the Summit of Speed on July 7. Thoroughbred racing's fastest day saw Musical Romance, the 2011 Eclipse Award winning champion female sprinter made amends for a neck defeat in last year's running of the Grade 1 Princess Rooney Handicap when prevailing by a half-length in the 2012 renewal.
On that same day, Gantry earned a berth in this year's Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Sprint when a five-length winner of the Grade 2 Smile Sprint, part of the Breeders' Cup Challenge "Win and You're In" Series, while Fort Loudon and Trinniberg staged a stirring stretch duel in the Grade 3 Carry Back, with the former getting up in the shadow of the wire to prevail by a neck.
The Calder Meet once again proved to be a playground for jockey Luis Saez as the young rider stormed to his third straight riding title, climbing atop the table in late April and never relinquishing that spot en route to a 127-win season. Saez also entered the Calder record books on August 11 when becoming just the ninth rider in the 41-year history of the track to win six races on a single card.
The race for leading trainer at the Calder Meet came down to the final day as Giuseppe Iadisernia bested Kirk Ziadie by a count of 29 victories to 28. Iadisernia went atop the training table on the second day of racing and retained that position throughout the remainder of the meet with the exception of a one-race period during the final week when Ziadie went in front by one.
Two-time Tropical Meet leading owner Frank C. Calabrese was the runaway leading owner at the 2012 Calder Meet with 39 wins.
Notable dates on the Tropical Meet calendar include the longstanding Festival of the Sun program, featuring five stakes with estimated purses of $850,000 on October 13; the Florida Million card, an eight-race showcase for Florida-bred horses on November 10; and a pair of graded-stakes doubleheaders featuring the Grade 2 W.L. McKnight Handicap and the Grade 3 Fred W. Hooper Handicap on November 24, and the Grade 3 La Prevoyante and Grade 3 Tropical Turf Handicap on closing day, November 30.
First race post time during the Tropical Meet is 12:30 p.m. (ET). A special holiday program of live racing will be held in observance of Labor Day on Monday, and Wednesday racing will be added to the schedule beginning September 12.