Congrats Finds Tough Spot for Calder Debut

Cloverleaf Farm's grade II winner Congrats makes his Calder debut in his first start for trainer Kathleen O'Connell facing nine rivals in Monday's $100,000 Memorial Day Handicap (gr. III).

Purchased privately earlier this year as a stud prospect, the 6-year-old son of A.P. Indy bids to pass the $1 million mark in career earnings, but will hardly find a welcome committee in Monday's 1 1/16-mile test where he faces several other graded stakes winners.

Jockey Daniel Centeno gets the call on Congrats, who finished seventh in his only two starts earlier this year at Santa Anita when trained by Richard Mandella. In 24 starts in New York and California, Congrats has earnings of $978,960. He was in good form early last year when he won the San Pasqual Handicap (gr. II) and finished second to Rock Hard Ten in the Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I).

Whos Crying Now has been a fixture in the South Florida handicap ranks for several seasons for trainer Manny Tortora with earnings of more than $600,000. A 6-year-old gelding by Concerto, he is at his best with plenty of speed up front to set up his stretch rally.

Winner of the Carl Rose Classic here last fall, Whos Crying Now made a successful foray to California in late January, finishing second to the highly accomplished Lava Man in the Sunshine Millions Classic. He finished second last out as the favorite in the Sumter overnight stakes in a slow-paced race.

Mister Fotis has been sprinting for trainer Marty Wolfson, but was effective going a distance earlier in his career. The 5-year-old son of Diligence scored his most important victory in early March at Gulfstream Park, winning the Richter Scale Breeders' Cup (G2) at seven furlongs.

Gigawatt invaded Calder from the Classic Mile training center to win the Miami Mile Breeders' Cup (gr. III) on Apr. 29 with Chantal Sutherland along for the ride in the turf test. Trainer Michael Lerman has shipped most of his horses to New York for the summer, but left Gigawatt in Ocala to run in Monday's race.

A 6-year-old son of Wild Again, Gigawatt has scored five of his eight career victories on the main track.

Twilight Road won this race last year over Whos Crying Now, but is listed at 6-to-1 on the morning line. The venerable 9-year-old gelding trained by David Fawkes was sidelined from July until March with a hind end problem, but ran well enough to finish fifth in the Miami Mile behind Gigawatt, beaten only 2 ΒΌ lengths for it all.

The 'wild card' in the Memorial Day field will be Raymond Larkin's Siphon City after going wire-to-wire to capture the Sumter overnight stakes by eight lengths over Whos Crying Now while able to control a slow pace. Trained by Dan Hurtak, the son of Siphon will be ridden by Elvis Trujillo on a return call.

$100,000 Memorial Day Handicap (gr. III, Race 12, 5:58 p.m.), 3 & Up, 1 1/16 Miles
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Whos Crying Now (FL), 116, Manoel R. Cruz
2. Gigawatt (KY), 116, Chantal Sutherland
3. Mister Fotis (FL), 115, Carlos Olivero
4. Notgonagetemtoday (FL), 114, Eduardo O. Nunez
5. Bob's Proud Moment (FL), 113, Juan C. Leyva
6. Congrats (KY), 118, Daniel Centeno
7. Broadway View (KY), 113, Cecilio Penalba
8. Siphon City (KY), 115, Elvis Trujillo
9. Twilight Road (KY), 116, Manuel Aguilar
10. Hal's Image (FL), 112, Jeffrey Sanchez