The Judge Sez Who Wins Fred Hooper Decision

Trainer Milton Wolfson saddled two horses in the four-race Grand Slam II program at Calder Saturday, and both were winners after The Judge Sez Who won the $100,000 Fred W. Hooper Handicap (gr. III) for Sez Who Stable.

Stormy Frolic was an easy winner in the $100,000 Stage Door Betty Handicap one race before.

Jockey Cornelio Velasquez rode The Judge Sez Who, carrying 116 pounds, to a 1 3/4-length victory over the favorite Best of the Rest. Dancing Guy, who won the Hooper Handicap in 1999, finished third, four lengths behind Best of the Rest. Dancing Guy's time in 1999 of 1:50 4/5 was a stakes record, but The Judge Sez Who bettered that, finishing the 1 1/8-mile test in 1:50 2/5.

In eleven starts this year, the 3-year-old Florida homebred son of Judge T C has not finished worse than fourth. He won for the eighth time in 20 starts while pushing his career earnings to $652,876. The bay colt kicked off 2002 with a second-place finish in the Tropical Park Derby (gr. III). He later ran in five other "derbies" in five different states, taking the Oklahoma version at Remington Park in August while placing second or third in three others.

"It's been a helluva day and a helluva year from beginning to end," said Wolfson. "(The Judge Sez Who) thrives on racing. He won the Oklahoma Derby just two weeks after he ran (second) in West Virginia. I don't put too much pressure on him training. He's just not a horse that has to have two months or more between races."

Wolfson said the Sunshine Millions Classic Jan. 25 would be next for his colt.

"The only difference is that he won't get in that one with 116 pounds," he said. "Winning this one is also good because it's another graded race on his record. Eventually, he's going to stud."

The 7-2 third choice in the field of eight, The Judge Sez Who paid $9.20, $3.60 and $2.80. Best Of The Rest returned $3.20 and $2.60. Dancing Guy paid $4.20. Fountain of Youth (gr. I) winner Booklet, sent off at 9-5 following a comeback victory over an allowance field at Churchill Nov. 19, was a fading fourth after challenging for the lead on the final turn.

(Chart, Equibase)