Silver Tree Takes On Full Tropical Turf Field

Silver Tree and Host, both graded stakes winners in 2004, are the likely favorites in the $100,000 Tropical Turf Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Calder Race Course Saturday.

Both were assigned high weight of 118 pounds in a full field entered for the 1 1/8-mile grass event. The race attracted a total of 16 horses, including two also-eligible entries and two for the main track only.

Peter Vegso's Silver Tree won the Bernard Baruch Handicap (gr. IIT) at Saratoga earlier this season, one of three victories in 2004. Coming off a fifth-place finish behind Singletary in the Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) at Lone Star Park Oct. 30, the 4-year-old son of Hennessy has lost three in a row.

Silver Tree ran into traffic problems on the tight Lone Star turf course, delaying his stretch move and contributing to a three-length defeat. Prior to that, the Bill Mott trainee ran third in the Shadwell Turf Mile (gr. IT) at Keeneland in October and was second in the Fourstardave (gr. IIT) at Saratoga.

Chilean champion Host won the Knickerbocker Handicap (gr. IIT) by 1 1/2 lengths in his last start at Aqueduct for trainer Todd Pletcher. The 4-year-old son of Hussonet is ridden by John Velazquez.

Also entered in the Tropical Turf is Calder specialist Twilight Road, a three-time grade III winner. The 7-year-old Cahill Road gelding has three wins to his credit at Calder this year for trainer David Fawkes, including the Miami Mile Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIIT) on the turf course on Sept. 11.

Final Prophecy registered a 57-1 shocker in winning the Bonnie Heath Turf Cup during Florida Million Day at Calder Nov. 13. The 5-year-old son of World Stage is reunited with rider Carlos Olivero for trainer David Brownlee.

Bob's Proud Moment, the lone 3-year-old in the Tropical Turf field, comes off a third-place finish behind Supah Blitz in the Carl Rose Classic, the main event on the Florida Million card.

The Tropical Turf Handicap is one of four stakes races at Calder on Saturday, part of Grand Slam I.

$100,000 Tropical Turf Handicap (gr. III), 3 & up, 1 1/8 miles (turf)
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. In Hand (KY), 114, Gary Boulanger
2. Demeteor (KY), 114, Jose C. Ferrer
3. Silver Tree (FL), 118, Eibar Coa
4. Bob's Proud Moment (FL), 115, Manoel R. Cruz
5. Keep Cool (FL), 115, Jose Alberto Rivera, II
6. Final Prophecy (FL), 115, Carlos Olivero
7. Host (CHI), 118, John R. Velazquez
8. Sea Pleasure (FL), 114, Aurelio Toribio, Jr.
9. Private Scandal (MD), 115, Abdiel Toribio
10. Mogador (PA), 115, Brice Blanc
11. Twilight Road (KY), 114, Phil Teator
12. Pah (KY), 113, Jose A. Velez, Jr.
Also Eligible
13. Sir Walter Rahy (KY), 113, Christopher P. DeCarlo
14. Colonial Bay (KY), 113, Eddie Castro
Main Track Only
15. Gold Dollar (KY), 114, Jose E. Lopez
16. Dependable Herbie (FL), 113, Jorge F. Chavez