Fernando Po, Rutherienne Win Calder Juvenile Turf Heats

(from Calder reports)
Surprising Fernando Po and favored Rutherienne each captured $100,000 stakes races for 2-year-olds Saturday on the turf at Calder Race Course.

Barry K. Schwartz's colt Fernando Po upset odds-on favorite Soldier's Dancer by a head in the Kris S. Stakes for trainer Mike Hushion. Jockey Rafael Bejarano guided the son of Johannesburg--Apple Juice (Southern Halo) to the off-the-pace victory.

Fernando Po covered the 1 1/16 miles on turf in 1:41.60 to defeat the fast closing 3-5 choice Soldier's Dancer and Rene Douglas. It was a length back to Storm in May, with Manoel Cruz, in third place.

Coming off a seventh-place finish in the Pilgrim on a yielding Belmont Park turf course Oct. 22, Fernando Po produced his second win – both in stakes – in seven starts and nearly doubled his earnings to $124,416. He won the With Anticipation at 1 1/16 miles at Saratoga Sept. 1.

Fourth choice in the field of 10, Fernando Po paid $19, $4.40, and $3.60. Soldier's Dancer, winner of the Arthur Appleton Juvenile Turf Stakes here last out, paid $2.20 and $2.20, and Storm in May returned $2.80 for the show.

Virginia Kraft Payson's homebred filly Rutherienne remains undefeated in two starts after winning the Cherokee Frolic Stakes, also a 1 1/16-mile turf test.

She won her debut here on Nov. 12 going the distance over the same course. Jockey Rene Douglas was aboard both times for trainer Christophe Clement.

Rutherienne, a Kentucky-bred daughter of Pulpit--Ruthian (Rahy), came from last after a half-mile Saturday to defeat Perfect Motion and Rafael Bejarano by three-quarters of a length. She covered the distance in 1:42.67, slightly faster than her previous race. Island Friend, with Elvis Trujillo aboard, finished third, 1 1/2 lengths behind the winner.

Sent off as the 8-to-5 favorite, Rutherienne paid $5.20, $2.80, and $2.60.

Perfect Motion, the second choice at 9-to-5, returned $2.80 and $2.60.

Island Friend paid $3.20 to show.

(Chart, Equibase)