Tackleberry, who set the pace but relinquished his lead to longshot Dream Maestro, fought back in deep stretch and nipped his rival by a nose in a thrilling finish of the Fred Hooper Handicap (gr. III) Dec. 11 at Calder.
Mambo Meister, who has recorded all nine of his lifetime wins at Calder Casino & Race Course, is the one to beat in the $100,000 Fred W. Hooper Handicap (gr. III) Dec. 11 at the South Florida racetrack.
Grade I winner Presious Passion has not been in the best of form lately, but the 5-year-old gelding will try to get back to his winning ways in an event he scored in last year, the $150,000 W.L. McKnight Handicap (gr. IIT). The 1 1/2-mile turf event is one of four graded stakes on Calder Race Course's $500,000 Grand Slam program Dec. 13 in Miami Gardens, Fla.
John Russell, who conditioned champions Susan's Girl and Track Robbery, died last night at his home in Del Mar. Calif., from cancer.
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