Full McKnight Field Tops Grand Slam II Card

(from Calder report)
The veteran campaigners Dreadnaught - winner the 2004 edition of Calder's $200,000 W.L. McKnight Handicap (gr. IIT) - and Revved Up, second by a neck in last year's running, return to the scene Saturday in one of four graded stakes worth a total $600,000.

Jean Luc Samyn is atop Dreadnaught and Eddie Castro rides Revved Up in a full field of 12. The McKnight is among four graded stakes worth a total uf $600,000 to be run consecutively on the track's Grand Slam II program.

Trillium Stable's 6-year-old gelding Dreadnaught, fourth in the McKnight last year, ships in from trainer Tom Voss' Atlanta Hall Farm in Monkton, Md.

He had company on the van trip with Merrifield Farm and Charles Noell's 5-year-old gelding Always First, also in the race with a solid chance for Voss. Rene Douglas gets the call on the son of Barathea, who won the Sunset Breeders' Cup (gr. IIT) at Hollywood Park last year for trainer Neil Drysdale before joining the Voss stable earlier this year.

Dreadnaught is a son of Lac Ouimet and comes into the race after a game third-place finish in the nine-furlong Laurel Turf Cup run over a 'yielding' course, conditions that could show up Saturday under the current South Florida weather forecast.

Dreadnaught was beaten only 1 ¾ lengths in last year's McKnight and lost a couple of tough decisions this year. He finished second by a neck to Better Talk Now in the Dixie Stakes (gr. IIT) at Pimlico in May and second by a neck to Ashkal Way in the Bernard Baruch Handicap (gr. IIT) at Saratoga in late August.

Live Oak Plantation's 8-year-old gelding Revved Up, the 122-pound top weight, has been a remarkable performer throughout his career with trainer Christophe Clement, posting a record of 34-17-7-1 for earnings of nearly $1.3 million.

The roan/gray homebred son of Sultry Song has won five of six starts this season, including the Sycamore Breeders' Cup (gr. IIIT) at Keeneland in early October and the Bonnie Heath Turf Cup over the Calder course last out on Nov. 11.

$200,000 W.L. McKnight Handicap (gr. IIT, Race 11, 4:47 p.m.), 3 & Up, 1 1/2 Miles (Turf)
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Ramazutti (MD), 117, John Velazquez
2. Interpatation (KY), 115, Tom Turner
3. Devil's Preacher (KY), 113, Rafael Bejarano
4. Always First (GB), 118, Rene Douglas
5. Dave (NY), 114, Edgar Prado
6. Dreadnaught (KY), 117, Jean-Luc Samyn
7. Bob's Proud Moment (FL), 115, Manoel Cruz
8. Revved Up (FL), 122, Eddie Castro
9. Spider Power (IRE), 114, Joe Bravo
10. Embossed (IRE), 117, Larry Melancon
11. Big Prairie (KY), 115, Javier Castellano
12. Teofilo (PER), 115, Jeffrey Sanchez
Also Eligible
13. Bee Charmer (IRE), 112, Edgar S. Prado

Clement Bids for 5th La Prevoyante Win
Trainer Christophe Clement has won the $200,000 La Prevoyante Handicap (gr. IIT) on four previous occasions, twice with the outstanding mare Coretta. He will send out two of the six fillies and mares entered in Saturday's 32nd running of the 1 ½-mile turf fixture at Calder.

Monceaux Stable's 4-year-old German-bred filly Royal Highness is the 120-pound high weight under Edgar Prado and appears to have the best chance of the Clement duo. Clement also entered Virginia Kraft Payson's 3-year-old filly Doryphar to be ridden by Manoel Cruz.

Royal Highness finished a game second last out in the 12-furlong Long Island Handicap (gr. IIT) at Aqueduct Nov. 4, beaten only a half-length as the odds-on favorite in her second American start for Clement.

She was third to English Channel in the Turf Classic (gr. IT) at Belmont Park prior to that. A daughter of Monsun, Royal Highness was a top class filly in France, finishing a close-up third in the Prix Vermeille (Fr-I) at Longchamp in September.

Royal Highness' rivals include Arindel Farm's Argentine-bred 4-year-old filly Safari Queen, winner of the Long Island for trainer Todd Pletcher and jockey John Velasquez to get his Florida winter season underway.

Gary Tanaka's 5-year-old French-bred mare Barancella invades from California for trainer Bobby Frankel, with Javier Castellano getting the call.

Barancella came to the U.S. from France in the fall of 2004 and found her best form this fall, winning a Belmont allowance in September and finishing a game second, beaten a length by Arravale, in the E.P. Taylor Stakes (Can-I) at Woodbine last out on Oct. 22.

$200,000 La Prevoyante Handicap (gr. IIT, Race 8, 3:28 p.m.), Fillies & Mares 3 & Up, 1 1/2 Miles (Turf)
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Safari Queen (ARG), 117, John Velazquez
2. Doryphar (KY), 111, Manoel Cruz
3. Private Betty (FL), 111, Jose Lezcano
4. Barancella (FR), 118, Javier Castellano
5. Royal Highness (GER), 120, Edgar Prado
6. Wait It Out (KY), 115, Jean-Luc Samyn

Zito Bids for Third Straight Hooper Handicap with Hesanoldsalt
Trainer Nick Zito, who sent out 3-year-olds Pies Prospect and Andromeda's Hero to capture the last two renewals of the $100,000 Fred W. Hooper Handicap (gr. III), could make it three in a row Saturday with Hesanoldsalt in a wide-open field of 11 at Calder.

Live Oak Plantation's 3-year-old colt Hesanoldsalt is a homebred son of Broad Brush and was competitive in good company this summer and fall.

He won a 'two other than' allowance at Saratoga, finished a well-beaten fourth to Bernardini in the Travers Stakes (gr. I), and ran third in the Pegasus Stakes (gr. III) at Meadowlands in early October. However, he did not fare well trying grass for the first time when eighth in the Commonwealth Turf at Churchill Downs on Nov. 11.

Another 3-year-old with a big chance in the 1 1/8-mile Fred Hooper is J. Robert Harris, Jr.'s Rehoboth with Manoel Cruz in the saddle for veteran horseman Frank Gomez. The son of Wagon Limit has beaten older horses in two of this last three starts, most recently the $200,000 Carl Rose Classic at Calder on Florida Million day, Nov. 11.

$100,000 Fred W. Hooper Handicap (gr. III, Race 10, 4:21 p.m.), 3 & Up, 1 1/8 Miles
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Hesanoldsalt (KY), 113, Rafael Bejarano
2. Itsawonderfulife (KY), 114, Jose Lezcano
3. Supervisor (FL), 116, Aurelio Toribio, Jr.
4. We Can Seek (CHI), 116, Edgar Prado
5. Big Lover (FL), 115, Javier Castellano
6. Dazzling Dr. Cevin (FL), 115, John Velazquez
7. Sir Jackie (FL), 114, Eduardo Nunez
8. B. B. Best (FL), 116, Eddie Castro
9. Rehoboth (FL), 117, Manoel Cruz
10. Dry Martini (FL), 111, Elvis Trujillo
11. Siphon City (KY), 117, Rene Douglas

Nightmare Affair, Mister Fotis Clash in Kenny Noe Jr.
Mister Fotis romped home a 6 ¾-length winner of the $100,000 Kenny Noe Jr. Handicap (gr. III) last December, but the chestnut son of Diligence appears to be facing a tougher group in Saturday's edition of the seven-furlong test at Calder.

Jockey Rafael Bejarano rides Alago Inc.'s 5-year-old Mister Fotis, who is looking to return to his best form at his favorite distance. After his victory last year, Mister Fotis went on to score his biggest victory in the seven-furlong Richter Scale Breeders' Cup (gr. II) at Gulfstream Park. He finished sixth last out in the six-furlong Jack Dudley Sprint Nov. 11.

Jockey Edgar Prado gets reacquainted with Timber Side Stable's 5-year-old Nightmare Affair for trainer Manny Azpurua. Prado rode the roan/gray son of Out of Place to a good third-place effort behind Eclipse Award contender Thor's Echo in the TVG Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) at Churchill Downs.

Nightmare Affair finished third to that rival again in the Frank DeFrancis Memorial (gr. I) at Laurel Park Nov. 25, beaten only a length for it all.

Joseph Balsamo's Weigelia ships in from Laurel Park for trainer Michael Trombetta with Eddie Castro, although it will be more of a homecoming for the 5-year-old than a new experience.

The son of Safely's Mark was developed at Calder by trainer Manny Azpurua, capturing the 2004 Carry Back Stakes (gr. II) before going on to continued success based in Maryland.

$100,000 Kenny Noe Jr. Handicap (gr. III, Race 9, 3:35 p.m.), 3 & Up, 7 Furlongs
Calder Race Course - December 16th, 2006 - Race 9
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. How's Your Halo (FL), 113, Elvis Trujillo
2. Carrots Only (NJ), 115, Tom Turner
3. Paradise Dancer (KY), 115, Jose Lezcano
4. Valid Video (FL), 115, Manoel Cruz
5. Istan (KY), 114, John R. Velazquez
6. Nightmare Affair (FL), 120, Edgar Prado
7. Mister Fotis (FL), 117, Rafael Bejarano
8. Robbies Charm (FL), 110, Eduardo Nunez
9. Weigelia (FL), 117, Eddie Castro