Switching back to the main track was no problem for versatile Mambo Meister, as the 5-year-old gelding romped to a 7 3/4-length victory as the odds-on favorite in the $100,000 Memorial Day Handicap (gr. III) (VIDEO) Memorial Day Handicap (gr. III) May 31 at Calder Race Course.
Trained by Philip Gleaves for Quantum Racing Team #1, Mambo Meister entered the 1 1/16-mile race off a win in the Miami Mile Handicap (gr. IIIT) April 25. This was the third graded stakes score—the second on dirt—for the son of King Cugat.
Under the handling of Manoel Cruz, Mambo Meister enjoyed a perfect trip in the Memorial Day Handicap, laying just off Cinnamon Road who set a leisurely pace. Cinnamon Road clicked off fractions of :24.82 and :49.97 with Luis Saez aboard, but when they turned for home Mambo Meister ventured up alongside the leader and easily went by him when asked.
Mambo Meister opened up a 3 1/2-length lead at the top of the stretch and drew away from the field. Causeway’s Kid rallied for second under Jermaine Bridgmohan, finishing a neck ahead of Cinnamon Road.
Bred in Kentucky by J.R. Cavanaugh and out of the Desert Secret mare Bleu’slittlesecret, Mambo Meister upped his career record to 9-4-5 from 28 starts. He now has earned $483,025.
The winner paid $3.60, $2.20, and $2.10. The exacta (4-2) returned $7.60 and the trifecta (4-2-5) was $25.60.