Jockey Eibar Coa almost got a Grand Slam all by himself at Calder Race Course Saturday, finishing with winners of three of the day's four stakes races after Krieger captured the $100,000 Tropical Turf Handicap (gr. IIIT) for 3 and up at 1 1/8 mile on the turf.
Saturday's Grand Slam I program at Calder lost one of its marquee players when owner-breeder-trainer Stanley Ersoff scratched 6-year-old Band Is Passing from the $100,000 Tropical Turf Handicap (gr. III).
The Calder racing season hits high gear Saturday with the track's first of two Grand Slam stakes programs. Band Is Passing, Babae, Two Item Limit, Volga and Tour Of The Cat are among the marquee names that will run in the four stakes worth $100,000 each, three of them graded events.
Band Is Passing took control on the last turn and breezed to a 4 1/4 -length victory Saturday in the $100,000 Flying Pidgeon Handicap for 3-year-olds at Calder Race Course.
Stanley Ersoff's Band Is Passing is the 119-pound highweight for the $100,000 Flying Pidgeon Handicap Saturday at Calder Race Course.
Band Is Passing, coming into the Miami Mile Breeders' Cup Handicap (IIIT) off a 5 ½-month layoff for his breeder/owner/trainer Stanley Ersoff, showed he was worth the wait by winning the $150,000 feature by two lengths.
Stanley Ersoff's Band Is Passing, the $150,000 Miami Mile Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIIT) winner in 2000, and Randy Mills' Unite's Big Red, who won it in 1998, both as 4-year-olds, return for Monday's Labor Day renewal at Calder Race course at one mile on the turf.
After nearly six months on the sidelines, Stanley Ersoff's Band Is Passing returns to the races in Monday's $150,000 Miami Mile Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Calder.
On a yielding turf course and in a paceless race, Cetewayo closed from far back to win Saturday's $200,000 Gulfstream Park Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IT) by 3 1/4 lengths over favored Band Is Passing. The win marks the first for the 8-year-old son of His Majesty since taking the Red Smith Handicap (gr. IIT) in November of 2000.
A full field of 12 will contest the $200,000 Gulfstream Park Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IT) over 1 3/8 miles Saturday on the Fountain of Youth undercard. This is a wide open contest full of veterans. Stanley Ersoff's Band Is Passing is the mild 7-2 morning line favorite.
While the public may have deserted him, the man who knows him best never lost faith. Though the highweight among the dozen starters, Band Is Passing, the favorite in 11 of his past 12 starts--each of which came in a stakes--could muster no more support from his home crowd than the 7-1 fourth-betting choice in Calder's Tropical Turf Handicap (gr. IIIT) on Dec. 8. But his handy win by 3 1/4 lengths validated what his owner and trainer Stanley Ersoff had been saying all along.
Neil Drysdale trainee Irish Prize is likely to go highweighted in the $250,000-added Firecracker Breeders' Cup (gr. II) July 4 at Churchill Downs. The 5-year-old Irish River gelding has been setting off fireworks throughout 2001, with three graded stakes wins from four starts.
In the moments after Inexplicable's very explicable win in the Canadian Turf Handicap (gr. IIIT) on Feb. 24, trainer Christophe Clement was once and for all going to explain his secret for getting optimum performances from horses returning from layoffs. "My secret with layoff runners," he began straight-faced, with a crowd of reporters moving in closer to hear his pearl of wisdom, "is to be stabled next to Bill Mott."
Associate took advantage of his inside post position, saving ground early before rallying to catch Band Is Passing in the final strides in Saturday's $150,000 Appleton Handicap (gr. IIT) at Gulfstream Park. Last year's Appleton winner Band Is Passing missed by a neck in his repeat bid, finishing second, a head in front of El Mirasol.
Stanley Ersoff's homebred Band Is Passing will face 14 rivals in the Appleton Handicap (gr. IIT) at Gulfstream Park Saturday as he attempts to repeat his win in last year's renewal of the race. Since last year, the race has been shortened to one mile from its previous length of 1 1/16 miles.
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