The final four stakes of the 2010-2011 Tropical meet help Calder Casino & Race Course wind down its season this weekend with the $100,000 Stage Door Betty Handicap (gr. III) and $100,000 Tropical Park Derby leading the New Year’s Day program.
Also on tap for the Saturday card is the Tropical Park Oaks for 3-year-old fillies, while the La Prevoyante (gr. IIIT) wraps up the Calder stakes schedule Jan. 2. The Tropical meet concludes Jan. 4 in South Florida.
The Stage Door Betty, which was downgraded from grade II to grade III for 2011, drew a field of 11 fillies and mares going 1 1/16 miles on the main track. Multiple graded stakes winner Funny Moon and Quiet Temper lead the way, while trainer Marty Wolfson also saddles a pair of contenders.
Funny Moon won the Coaching Club American Oaks (gr. I) in 2009 and the Shuvee Handicap (gr. II) in May—both at Belmont. The 4-year-old Malibu Moon filly is winless in five starts since the Shuvee but has hit the board three times including a runner-up effort in the Turnback the Alarm Handicap (gr. III) Oct. 30 when missing by a nose. Last out the chestnut filly was fourth in the Nov. 26 Top Flight Handicap (gr. II) at Aqueduct.
This will be the first start at Calder for Funny Moon and she will be ridden by Alan Garcia. Christophe Clement trains the filly for Mrs. C. Wilson McNeely III.
Mark Stanley’s Quiet Temper won the Boyd Gaming's Delta Princess (gr. III) as a juvenile last year and returned to take the Fair Grounds Oaks (gr. II) in March. The 3-year-old daughter of Quiet American has not won since that effort including an eighth-place finish in the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I). In her last start Quiet Temper was fifth in the Gazelle (gr. I) Nov. 27 at Aqueduct.
Quiet Temper, who will make her Florida debut, is 3-4-0 from 12 starts. John Velazquez takes over the mount for Dale Romans.
Wolfson will send out Toocleverforwords and Amazing for Farnsworth Stables. Toocleverforwords has won her last two starts, including a convincing win at Calder in the Oct. 16 Cinnamon Girl Stakes in her most recent effort. The 4-year-old Arch filly will make her graded stakes debut.
Amazing is a 5-year-old Florida-bred daughter of Greatness who was claimed for $75,000 this summer. She has finished first or second in all four starts since the claim, including an allowance score at Calder in September. The chestnut mare was runner-up to her stablemate in the Cinnamon Girl and also missed by a neck in the Nov. 13 Elmer Heubeck Handicap to current entrant Joanie's Catch.
The Stage Door Betty was originally scheduled for Dec. 18.
The Tropical Park Derby is the first stakes of the year for new 3-year-olds going 1 1/8 miles on turf. It was downgraded from a grade III to no grade this year.
The wide open field includes New York-bred East of Danzig, who enters off a pair of turf wins in New York for trainer Michael Matz; a pair from trainer Ken McPeek including first-time turfer Halo's Thunder, who was fourth in a pair of grade III races at Churchill Downs; Reprized Halo, best known for defeating graded winner Gourmet Dinner in the Oct. 16 Florida Stallion In Reality Stakes; and Ribo Bobo, winner of the Foolish Pleasure Stakes at Calder and runner-up in his last two including the Iroquois (gr. III) at Churchill.
Matz won the Tropical Park Derby in 2006 with eventual Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Barbaro.
$100,000 Stage Door Betty Handicap (gr. III, Race 10, 4:19 p.m.), Fillies & Mares 3 & Up, 1 1/16 Miles (Dirt) PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer 1. Toocleverforwords (KY), L Saez, 116, M D Wolfson
2. Dynamic Barbie (KY), A Cabassa Jr. 112, M Mora
3. Pink Palace (KY), M Pinto, 110, F Abbott
4. Funny Moon (KY), A Garcia, 119, C Clement
5. Amazing (FL), E Trujillo, 117, M D Wolfson
6. Musical Romance (FL), M R Cruz, 115, W A Kaplan
7. Quiet Temper (KY), J R Velazquez, 119, D L Romans
8. Striking Dancer (KY), J R Leparoux, 117, K G McPeek
9. Even Road (FL), R Maragh, 115, S M Ersoff
10. Joanie's Catch (FL), J Santiago 118 B R Rose
11. Girl Can Rock (KY), P Lopez 112 J F Orseno
$100,000 Tropical Park Derby (Race 11, 4:45 p.m.), 3YO, 1 1/8 Miles (Turf) PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer 1. Swift Warrior (KY), P Lopez, 117, S Dwoskin
2. Ribo Bobo (FL), E O Nunez, 119, M J Azpurua
3. And I Like It Too (FL), M R Cruz, 115, W A Kaplan
4. King Congie (KY), J Castellano, 117, T Albertrani
5. Racing Aptitude (FL), L Saez, 119, H M Tesher
6. Private Prize (KY), J R Leparoux, 117, K G McPeek
7. I Love It (KY), J Bravo, 117, K J Breen
8. Tag V Eye (KY), J R Velazquez, 117, J P Terranova, II
9. East of Danzig (NY), J Lezcano, 117, M R Matz
10. Beachcombing (KY), A Garcia, 117, C C Brown
11. Reprized Halo (FL), J L Alvarez, 119, M J Azpurua
12. Relampago (KY), J C Leyva, 115, J Garoffalo
13. Halo's Thunder (KY) (AE), K J Desormeaux, 115, K G McPeek