Florida Million Day returns to Calder Casino & Race Course for the 11th time Nov. 10, with title defenses in the $125,000 Bonnie Heath Turf Cup by Bad Debt and the $150,000 Elmer Heubeck Distaff by My Pal Chrisy highlighting the program of eight stakes races.
There are 12 races in total on the card, which begins at 12:30 p.m. EST. The Florida Million races, which also include the $150,000 Carl G. Rose Handicap, are restricted to registered Florida-bred horses.
The Million competition begins with race 4, the $125,000 Jack Price Juvenile, at 1:47 p.m. (all times Eastern). It is followed by the $125,000 Joe O'Farrell Juvenile Fillies, the $100,000 Arthur I Appleton Juvenile Turf , the Carl Rose Classic, the Elmer Heubeck Distaff, the $100,000 John Franks Juvenile Fillies Turf, the $125,000 Jack Dudley Sprint Handicap, and the Bonnie Heath Turf Cup.
Trained by Mike Trombetta for Robert Leibner, Bad Debt shipped to Florida from New York to win the 2011 Bonnie Heath and will look to follow a similar route when attempting to tally back-to-back renewals of the nine-furlong turf test.
A consistent runner who has finished no worse than third in each of his last 18 starts, Bad Debt was third behind recent Breeders’ Cup Turf (gr. IT) winner Little Mike in this year’s Sunshine Millions Turf. He will start from post 3 in the eight-horse Bonnie Heath and will be ridden by Kendrick Carmouche, who was aboard the son of Grand Reward for his 2011 victory.
Returning to challenge Bad Debt for Bonnie Heath Turf supremacy is John Eaton and Steve Laymon’s Picou, last year’s runner-up who has not run since, along with Dennis Manning’s Roman Tiger, who crossed the wire third in the 2011 running but was disqualified and placed sixth for impeding another rival in the stretch.
Picou, who runs for trainer Dave Fawkes, will start from post 2 under Paco Lopez while the Manning-trained Roman Tiger, winner of the Tampa Bay Stakes (gr. IIIT) earlier this year, will be guided by Joe Bravo from post 8.
The Tony Lutchman-trained My Pal Chrisy, owned by Tonys Investments, was a surprise winner of last year’s Elmer Heubeck Distaff. She will have to defeat eight rivals, including a pair of recent graded stakes-placed runners, if she is to repeat in 2012.
The daughter of Alex's Pal, a six-time winner over the Calder main track who was last seen finishing second in the Stage Door Betty Handicap, will defend her title from post 4 in the 1 1/16-mile race with Luca Panici to ride.
Live Oak Plantation’s Successful Song, second in the Molly Pitcher Stakes (gr. II) two starts ago and most recently third when favored in the Lady’s Secret at Monmouth Park, will look to improve upon her fourth-place performance in last year’s Elmer Heubeck for trainer Eddie Plesa Jr.
The daughter of Successful Appeal drew post 5 and will be ridden by Angel Serpa, who won both finals of the Florida Stallion Stakes at Calder in October.
Hooh Why, a grade I winner during her juvenile season and runner-up in both the Ontario Matron (Can-III) and the Arlington Matron (gr. III) this year, was assigned post 7 for the Elmer Heubeck and will be ridden by recent Breeders’ Cup Sprint (gr. I)-winning jockey Willie Martinez.
Larry Fugate’s Cash Rules, a four-time stakes winner at Calder this year including a victory in the Spend A Buck Handicap (gr. III) in his last start, headlines a field of six that assembled for the Carl G. Rose Handicap.
Trained by Fawkes, the son of Peace Rules enters the Carl Rose on a three-race winning streak, with successive victories in the Darn That Alarm and the Band Is Passing in addition to his recent Spend A Buck score.
Cash Rules will start from post 3 under Luis Saez in the 1 1/8-mile Carl Rose, where he will meet recent allowance winner Megamove along with Miami Mile Handicap hero Imperial Czar.
The most contentious race on the Florida Million Day card looks to be the Jack Dudley Sprint Handicap, a six-furlong dash that drew a field of 10, five of which exit winning performances with the other five entering the race off runner-up efforts.
GZS Stable's Dual Exhauzt enters the Jack Dudley off two straight victories, most recently taking the Kenny Noe Jr. Handicap. Frank C. Calabrese’s Bull Dozer has visited the winner’s circle following each of his last three outings while winning those races by a combined 15 lengths.
Also slated for a start in the Jack Dudley is stakes-placed Cajun Breeze, recent allowance winner Off the Jak, and Unbridled Stakes runner-up Bahamian Squall.
A pair of main track tests for 2-year-olds will be run as part of the Florida Million Day program with two-time stakes winner Brave Dave scheduled to meet just five foes in the seven-furlong Jack Price Juvenile. West Point Thoroughbreds’ Frizette (gr. I) third-place finisher Toasting is set to face nine rivals in the seven-furlong Joe O’Farrell Juvenile Fillies.
Juvenile runners will also take to the turf on Florida Million Day, with Gilbert Campbell’s impressive turf maiden winner Reporting Star among the field of 10 entered for the 1 1/16-mile Arthur I. Appleton Juvenile Turf and Florida Stallion Stakes My Dear Girl heroine Verso a Verso the headlining name in the 11-horse John Franks Juvenile Fillies Turf.
$150,000 Carl G. Rose Classic Handicap (Race 7, 3:05 p.m.), 3 & Up, 1 1/8 Miles
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. He's Spectacular (FL), D F Gomez, 114, H Toledo
2. Megamove (FL), P Lopez, 115, R B Spatz
3. Cash Rules (FL), L Saez, 122, D Fawkes
4. Kings Over (FL), F Jara, 115, M J Azpurua
5. Decaf Again (FL), C Olivero, 112, B R Rose
6. Imperial Czar (FL), O Bocachica, 115, S Matos
$150,000 Elmer Heubeck Distaff Handicap (Race 8, 3:31 p.m.), Fillies & Mares 3 & Up, 1 1/16 Miles
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Callmethesqueeze (FL), J L Alvarez, 119, M J Azpurua
2. Delray Lady (FL), M R Cruz, 112, J Garoffalo
3. Cool Vixen (FL), L Saez, 114, W A Kaplan
4. My Pal Chrisy (FL), L Panici, 116, P Lutchman
5. Successful Song (FL), A Serpa, 120, E Plesa Jr.
6. Speak Easy Gal (FL), H Sanchez, 117, M D Wolfson
7. Hooh Why (FL), W Martinez, 122, D Fawkes
8. Flying Trip (FL), P Lopez, 116, G Zerpa
9. Redbud Road (FL), F Jara, 114, S I Gold