The Calder Derby was among four six-figure stakes races that closed to nominations Saturday. The others are the $200,000 Calder Oaks for 3-year-old fillies at 1 1/8 miles on turf, $100,000 Spend A Buck Handicap (gr. III) for 3-year-olds and up at 1 1/16 miles and the $100,000 Shocker T Handicap for fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles. Stroll has won his last four starts, including the Hall of Fame Handicap (gr. II) at Saratoga and Jamaica Handicap (gr. II) at Belmont Park.
The chances of the homebred son of Pulpit running appear enhanced by the fact that his regular rider Jerry Bailey will be at Calder that day. He rides John Franks' 2-year-old filly Chatter Chatter in the My Dear Girl Division of the Florida Stallion Stakes and other mounts that afternoon. Another highly accomplished nominee that could ship in is Brushwood Stable's Kicken Kris, who finished second in the Jamaica. Trained by Michael Matz, the son of Kris S. won the Secretariat Stakes (gr. I) at Arlington Park in his previous start. Trainer Christophe Clement appears likely to run one of three fillies he has nominated for the Calder Oaks. Clement's team for this edition includes Waterville Lake Stable's Derrianne, J.R. Kelly's Meridiana and Moyglare Stud's Where We Left Off. Derrianne, a daughter of Cozzene, won the Sept. 28 Martha Washington Stakes (gr. III) at Laurel Park in her U.S. debut after campaigning in France through early August. A formidable rival for any shippers in the Calder Oaks will be Elite Racing and partners‚ Calder-based Formal Miss, who is undefeated in three starts over the local course. Trained by Paul Maxwell, the daughter of Formal Dinner was very competitive last winter in her age group on turf at Gulfstream Park.