David Romanik's homebred 4-year-old gelding Southern Cal is the high weight and probable favorite as he shoots for his fourth straight victory against 10 rivals in Monday's $150,000 Miami Mile Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIIT) on Calder's turf course.Eduardo Nunez has drawn the riding assignment from trainer Ron Spatz for the Miami Mile, which is one of two stakes races on the Labor Day program at Calder. The $100,000 Aspidistra Handicap for fillies and mares is also scheduled for one mile on the turf.Southern Cal, a son of Halo's Image, will be the one to catch. In his last two starts, the 119-pound high weight won the $100,000 Calder Turf Sprint at five furlongs and The Vid overnight stakes going a mile, both in wire-to-wire fashion. He starts from post position 9 Monday.
Robert Dubois' 4-year-old homebred Bob's Proud Moment, who was three-quarters of a length short of catching Southern Cal in The Vid, looms as a leading threat. Trained by Doug Potter, the son of Proud and True has just missed in several other major stakes over the last two seasons, including a narrow loss to Eddington in the Calder Derby (gr. III) last fall. Manoel Cruz gets the return call.
Shipping in from Kentucky for the race is Silverton Hill LLC's 5-year-old gelding Gin and Sin with Jose Ferrer picking up the mount. Trained by Darrin Miller, the son of Go for Gin has made his last two starts at Mountaineer Park, winning the Independence Day Stakes on July 4. He invaded Calder last fall, losing a head decision in the Bonnie Heath Turf Cup on Florida Million day.
If weather were to force the Miami Mile off turf to the main track, Timber Side Stable's 4-year-old Nightmare Affair would be among the horses to beat with leading rider Eddie Castro. The son of Out of Place shows a second and third in four career starts on turf earlier in his career and is in such top form on both turf and dirt.
$150,000 Miami Mile Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIIT, Race 7, 3:31 p.m.), 3 & up (turf)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, ML Odds
1. Dancing Master (IRE), Richard Bracho, 112, 12/1
2. Nightmare Affair (FL), Eddie Castro, 115, 5/1
3. Bachelor Blues (KY), Kristi Chapman, 113, 20/1
4. Go Directlyto Jail (FL), Abdiel Toribio, 114, 8/1
5. Cervelo (FL), Paul R. Toscano, 115, 15/1
6. Gin Rummy Champ (FL), Aurelio Toribio, Jr., 114, 12/1
7. Mister Fotis (FL), Julio Garcia, 112, 12/1
8. Bob's Proud Moment (FL), 115, 6/1
9. Southern Cal (FL), Eduardo Nunez, 119, 5/2
10. Magic Speed (FL), Carlos Olivero, 112, 15/1
11. Gin and Sin (FL), Jose Ferrer, 116, 4/1