Stokosky Upsets Tropical Turf Handicap; Dead Heat for Second

Four $100,000 stakes, three of them graded, were run at Calder Saturday with an upset victory by Stokosky in the Tropical Turf Handicap (gr. IIIT) capping the program. Stokosky rallied to win by 3/4 lengths on a yielding turf course at 31-1. Another 30-1 shot, Special Coach, dead heated for second with the 2-1 favorite, Band Is Passing.

Special Coach took the lead at the start with Band Is Passing moving into second going to the far turn. Stokosky was third at the point and In Frank's Honor was seventh. Special Coach had short lead over Band Is Passing leaving the three-sixteenths pole with Stokosky third and coming on. Stokosky split horses leaving the eighth-mile pole and outgamed Special Coach and Band Is Passing to the wire.

Band Is Passing was up for the dead heat with Special Coach in the final stride. In Frank's Honor closed fast for fourth, one length farther back. Gulf Storm came home fifth, followed by Brassy Fred, Gimme Steam, Adcat, Little Ghazi, King's Jewel, and Pebo's Guy. Four horses were scratched, including Delay of Game and Hurrahy.

Stokosky, with fill-in rider Carlos Hernandez up, completed the 1 1/8 miles in 1:48.77 and paid $64.60, $19.60 and $13.00. Special Coach paid $8.80 and $8.20. Band Is Passing paid $3.20 and $3.80. The exacta paid $381.60.

Stokosky (Stack--Fama, by Forever Sparkle) is a homebred 4-year-old colt owned by Santa Cruz Farm. The Florida-bred has won five of 19 starts, earning $149,125. Prior to the Tropical Turf he finished second to Brassy Fred in the Flag Down Handicap. Stokosky is trained by Juan Rizo, the son of Santa Cruz Farm's owner.

"We were concerned that he wouldn't get in the race at the weights, but fortunately, he got to run," said the conditioner. "I stopped on him for the summer and sent him to the farm because he couldn't handle the heat. It's turned out very well and he's come back very well. This is my first $100,000 win as a trainer. We own the stallion and he's out of the family of Winfama, who was one of our best horses and was trained by Marty Wolfson. We still have a nice horse with Marty now." (Chart, Equibase)