Ralph Nabavi's Speak Logistics was never headed en route to a 2 3/4-length score Saturday on Calder's Festival of the Sun program, going gate-to-wire in the $300,000 In Reality division of the Florida Stallion Stakes series.
Trained by Ed Plesa Jr. and ridden in the 1 1/16-mile affair by Angel Serpa, the bay colt was coming off a two-month break. He captured his first win at Monmouth Park on August 12 in his second career start, scoring that day by 5 3/4 lengths in yet another gate-to-wire effort. Speak Logistic set splits of :25, :50 4/5, 1:15 3/5 and 1:41 Saturday before finishing up in 1:47 3/5 on the good main track.
Sent off the 9-5 favorite off his easy maiden win, Speak Logistics returned $5.60, $4 and $2.80 to his faithful backers in the In Reality. Two T's at Two B finished second, 5 3/4 lengths in front of Uptown Anthem, while Joshua's Comprise, C D Gold, Dixie High, Hear Me Comin, D'nied Permission, Tiger Distinction and Beach Master completed the order under the wire.
Speak Logistics has now earned $202,700 to go along with his 3-2-0-0 mark after running fourth in his career debut at Monmouth on July 8. The juvenile son of High Cotton is out of the winning Summer Squall mare Miss Sabrina, making him a half-brother to stakes victor Megalith. His fourth dam is Grade 2 star Fairway Flyer, who ran third in the 1972 Kentucky Oaks.
Others of note in this female family are Group 1 scorer Filiberto and White Star Line, heroine of the Kentucky Oaks, Alabama and Delaware Oaks, all Grade 1s, in 1978.
Frank Calabreze's Verso a Verso provided a slight 10-1 upset victory earlier on the card in the $300,000 My Dear Girl division of the FSS series, scoring by five lengths over 14-1 shot Ashlee's Princess on the wire.
Jewel in the Sky opened up on the field entering the backstretch through :23 4/5, but Candy Coded Kisses moved up to challenge on the outside by the time they passed a half-mile in :49. That one had her head in front when the six-furlong point was reached in 1:14 3/5, but Serpa on Verso a Verso had angled his filly out for her run by that point as well.
Verso a Verso took over in the lane and drew off under urging from her rider to finish 8 1/2 furlongs in 1:49 4/5. She paid $23.40, $10.20 and $8 for moving her career mark to a perfect two-for-two following a 2 3/4-length maiden debut win on August 16 over the track. The Luis Ramirez-trained bay juvenile became the first stakes winner for her sire, Circular Quay, and her earnings skyrocketed to $185,860 with the My Dear Girl winner's share.
Ashlee's Princess had six lengths to spare on third-placer So Blessed, who was followed under the sire by Putitinmypocket, Capriccio Blue, 4-5 favorite Putyourdreamsaway, Jewel in the Sky, Candy Coded Kisses and Nasty Cat.
Verso a Verso is out of the winning Bertrando mare Folk Art, making her a half-sister to the stakes-placed Folk Dancer. Her second dam is multiple Grade 3 queen Squan Song, and her fifth dam is dual champion and Broodmare of the Year Misty Morn, from whom is descended champions Successor and Bold Lad.
Bruce Hollander and Cary Shapoff's Csaba was entered in both the Grade 3 Spend a Buck and the $65,000 Tropical Park Derby two races later on Saturday's card, and the bay sophomore's connections might have wondered if they made the right race choice after he romped by 14 lengths in the latter contest under Luis Saez.
Csaba closely tracked in third as Musical Flair set opening splits of :24 4/5 and :50, but had moved up to second by the time that one got three-quarters in 1:14 2/5. The bay son of Kitten's Joy easily took command and merely extended his margin through the lane to complete 1 1/8 miles in 1:52 4/5 for the main-track event originally scheduled for the turf.
Csaba entered this one off a last-place effort in the Grade 2 Pennsylvania Derby, and returned to the site of his last win and first stakes score in the El Kaiser on July 21. The Phil Gleaves trainee's next start resulted in a nose second in the Grade 2 National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame but he didn't factor when ninth in the Equalize Stakes prior to his Penn Derby run.
Now 5-1-2 from 14 starts, Csaba has accumulated $211,935 in career earnings. He is out of the winning War Chant mare High Chant and comes from the same family as Very Subtle, queen of the 1987 Breeders' Cup Sprint against the boys.
The Festival of the Sun stakes action got underway in the $71,300 Frances A. Genter going a mile on the good turf. Jacks or Better Farm's homebred Awesome Belle just held Frolic's Revenge by a neck on the wire after a stretch-long duel between the two classy three-year-olds.
Sinister Brew led the way onto the backstretch, setting the opening quarter in :24 2/5, but Awesome Belle had tugged her way to the front under jockey Fernando Jara by the time the field reached a half-mile in :48 2/5. The Awesome of Course miss had a clear advantage entering the lane, but Frolic's Revenge was just gearing up. That dark bay daughter of Vindication ground her way up to Awesome Belle's throatlatch, but just ran out of room late for the win as her rival stopped the clock in 1:40 4/5 as the 4-5 favorite.
Awesome Belle scored her fourth straight stakes win with this victory, having triumphed in the Three Ring, Crystal Rail and Judy's Red Shoes Stakes prior to Saturday's contest. The Stanley Gold pupil also owns a win in last year's My Dear Girl and now boasts $443,387 in lifetime earnings to go along with her 19-6-1-3 career mark.