The $1.65 million "Festival of the Sun" day program at Calder on Saturday, Oct. 12 will feature nine stakes races, highlighted by the $400,000 In Reality and My Dear Girl division finales of the track's signature Florida Stallion Stakes series.
Nominations to five other six-figure stakes races closed Sept. 28 with the $200,000 Calder Derby (gr. IIIT) and $200,000 Calder Oaks getting the most attention. Both races are for 3-year-olds at 1 1/8 miles on turf with the Oaks restricted to fillies. Leading the list of 32 nominees for the Calder Derby are Dogwood Stable's Finality and William Sorokolit Sr.'s Union Place, one-two last out in the Jamaica Handicap (gr. IIT) at Belmont Park on Sept. 22.
Todd Pletcher trains Finality, a son of Dehere that defeated a strong field of 3-year-old turf division leaders in the Jamaica, including Juddmonte Farm's favored Chiselling , who finished third. Pletcher also nominated Anstu Stable's Youghal Bay.
Union Place set the pace through most of the Jamaica under pressure all the way and gave way grudgingly to lose by a length to Finality. Trained by Randy Schulhofer, the son of Out of Place also finished second in the Hall of Fame Stakes (gr. IIT) at Saratoga.
Trainer Christophe Clement nominated three for the Calder Derby and is expected to have a starter among Peter Karches' Deeliteful Irving; Eduoard de Rothschild's Devious Indian; and Lael Stable's Last Palace.
The leading Calder-based nominee for the race is Sez Who Racing's The Judge Sez Who, fourth last out in the Super Derby (gr. II) after winning the Oklahoma Derby (gr. III) in his previous start for trainer Milt Wolfson.
Trainers Bill Mott and Christophe Clement nominated four 3-year-old fillies each to the Calder Oaks with both expected to have at least one starter. Mott's best hopes would appear to lie with Haras Santa Maria de Araras' Maliziosa or Saud bin Khaled's Delta Princess. The Calder home team could have a formidable contender for the Calder Oaks in Bitterroot Investments' Cellars Shiraz, a game second last out in the Pucker Up Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Arlington Park behind Little Treasure. Trained by Bill Cesare, Cellars Shiraz won a trio of stakes at Gulfstream early this year and finished second to Maliziosa in the Edgewood. G. Watts Humphrey, Jr.'s Kathy K.D. finished a fast-closing third in the Pucker Up for trainer Rusty Arnold and also is nominated for the Calder Oaks.
Topping the nominees for the $100,000 Calder Turf Sprint is Michael Ryan and Dennis Swartz' 6-year-old Texas Glitter, who shipped in to win this race last year (when the race was part of the Summit of Speed card) for trainer Todd Pletcher. The hard-hitting son of Glitterman has found his niche in turf sprints around the country and has career earnings of nearly $650,000.
Festival of the Sun:
Saturday, Oct. 12, 2002
Florida Stallion Stakes - In Reality Division
$400,000, 1 1/16 miles, 2-year-olds
Florida Stallion Stakes - My Dear Girl Division
$400,000, 1 1/16 miles, 2 years old fillies
Calder Derby (gr. IIIT)
$200,000, 1 1/8 miles, turf, 3-year-olds
$200,000, 1 1/8 miles, turf, 3-year-old fillies
Shocker T. Handicap
$100,000, 1 1/16 miles, 3-year-olds and up, fillies and mares
Spend A Buck Handicap
$100,000, 1 1/16 miles. 3-year-olds and up
Calder Turf Sprint Handicap
$100,000, five furlongs, turf, 3-year-olds and up
*$75,000, six furlongs, 2-year-old fillies
*$75,000, six furlongs, 2-year-olds*Includes $40,000 FTBOA funding