Gigawatt Shocks Miami Mile BC Handicap

(from Calder reports)
Gigawatt, a 25-to-1 outsider, made his first start at Calder Race Course a winning one by taking the $150,000 Miami Mile Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIIT) on the turf Saturday.

Gigawatt, a son of Wild Again, covered the mile over firm turf in a rapid time of 1:34 2/5 and paid $61.60, $12.60, and $8.

The 6-year-old Gigawatt was ridden to victory by jockey Chantal Sutherland, who was recently included on People magazine's "50 Most Beautiful" list. Michael Lerman took over training Gigawatt earlier this year for owner Steve Ramsey.

There was a dead heat for second, a half-length behind Gigawatt. Spring House, ridden by Jose Velez Jr., returned $4 and $4.20, while Old Forester, the 8-5 favorite in the field of 10 with Eddie Castro aboard, paid $2.40 and $2.80.

"This race came up at the right time," Lerman said. "We'll be shipping to New York in another week or so, and there will be plenty of options to look at in about three or four weeks if he's doing well."

Another long shot, Keep Cool, set the pace in the one-mile turf race (:23 4/5, :46 4/5,1:10 3/5), opening up four lengths on the backstretch and leading the pack until tiring approaching the eighth pole. Gigawatt tracked the leader in second and Sutherland guided him to the outside when turning for home. It was a hard-fought win, as Spring House and Old Forester were closing quickly but ran out of room.

"Mike told me to go ahead and let him get as close to the lead as I could," Sutherland noted. "That turned out to be the perfect advice because, when the leader began to tire, we were in a great spot to make our move. He finished well through the stretch with all those horses closing in on him."

Icy Atlantic finished fourth, followed by Twilight Road, Woodlander, Keep Cool, Bob's Proud Moment, Big Luck, and T.D. Vance. Whos Crying Now scratched.

In the $105,000 Hollywood Wildcat Breeders' Cup Handicap, M-2 Stable's 5-year-old mare Potra Clasica led every step of the way to win by 1 3/4 lengths at odds of 11-to-1.

Jockey Cecilio Penalba was the winning rider for trainer Marty Wolfson. Formal Miss, ridden by Manoel Cruz, was second with Bright Abundance and Chris DeCarlo third.

An Argentine-bred, Potra Clasica had been competing in graded stakes on both turf and dirt at Gulfstream Park this winter, but had gone winless for the season. She last visited the winner's circle at Calder when winning on dirt in December. She covered the 1 1/16-mile distance in 1:41 2/5 to defeat seven rivals.

Potra Clasica set easy fractions of :23 4/5, :48 3/5 and 1:11 4/5, paid $24.80, $15.60, and $6.40. Formal Miss returned $8.40 and $4.40, while Bright Abundance paid $3 to show. The 4-to-5 favorite, My Lordship, finished last in the field of eight.

Prior to the Miami Mile, Timber Side Stables' favored Nightmare Affair won the $94,000 Ponche Handicap at six furlongs for the second year in a row when defeating Kaufy Machine by a head. The 5-year-old gray Out of Place horse is trained by Manuel Azpurua and was ridden to victory by jockey Eddie Castro.

Nightmare Affair tracked Paradise Dancer, Park Avenue Ball, and Kaufy Machine early in the six-furlong race and was poised to make his move at the quarter pole. Castro swung his mount to the outside, where he was full of run down the homestretch, to off a competitive Kaufy Machine, who battled back late for the photo finish. Park Avenue Ball finished third, while Universal Form closed well to finish fourth.

Sent off as the even-money choice, Nightmare Affair returned $4, $3, and $2.10. Kaufy Machine paid $5.80 and $2.40; Park Avenue Ball, making his first start in 2006, returned $2.10 to show. Nightmare Affair covered the six furlongs in 1:11 2/5.

The attendance at Calder, the first Saturday of the 2006 season, was 10,007.

(Chart, Equibase)