Dave Vivian sent out Soldier's Dancer to win the Calder Derby (gr. IIIT) in 2007 and Christophe Clement won the 2008 edition with Sporting Art when the race was run in the spring, and those two veteran trainers will have the favorites in the Oct. 17 renewal of the $100,000 event.
A field of 10 3-year-olds was entered in the Calder Derby, a nine-furlong turf event on the Florida racetrack’s Festival of the Sun day program. Post time is slated for 4:48 p.m. EDT.
Clement ships Lewis Schaffel's Kentucky homebred Sal the Barber in from New York with jockey Eddie Castro on hand to ride after finishing a close-up fifth as the favorite last out in the Saranac Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Saratoga Sept. 6. The son of Alphabet Soup won an overnight stakes on turf at Belmont Park in early July and finished a strong second in the Hall of Fame Stakes (gr. IIT) at the Spa in his two previous starts.
Sal the Barber is 2-1-2 from six starts this year.
Vivian saddles Douglas Gibson's Grand Cash with jockey Eduardo Nunez to ride. The son of Belong to Me put together a string of good performances over the course this summer, winning the Lord Juban and American Dreamer overnight stakes with a narrow loss when second by a head in the Donthelumbertrader in between. Last out, Grand Cash was fourth in the Needles Stakes Sept. 26.
Temo’s Dream, who is cross-entered in the Spend a Buck Handicap (gr. III) later in the day, won the Needles by 1 1/2 lengths but was disqualified for interference in the stretch and was placed second. Manoel Cruz was named to ride.
Also returning from the Needles is the third-place finisher Quiet Emarati. The son of Quiet American seeks his first turf victory in six tries.
Also on the Calder program is the $75,000 Calder Oaks, also at nine furlongs on the turf. A field of 10 sophomore fillies was entered.
Clement also looks to be holding a strong hand in the Oaks with Ramona Bass' French-bred filly Providanza, who makes her American debut. Providanza won two of six starts in France to begin her career, most recently finishing seventh in a group III stakes at Deauville Aug. 13, although beaten only 4 1/2 lengths by the winner.
The daughter of Okawango ran well to be fourth in the Prix Chloe (Fr-III) at Chantilly in early July when beaten only a length for it all. Eibar Coa has the mount on Providanza, who trained at Belmont for the race.
Elite Racing Company's Royal Card could be well-backed for trainer Marty Wolfson, despite the fact that she will be making her turf debut. The daughter of Chapel Royal just missed when second by a nose last out as the favorite in the Judy's Red Shoes Stakes Sept. 26 when that race was forced off turf after a runner-up effort in the $250,000 Charles Town Oaks in West Virginia Aug. 15. Castro will be in the irons.
Also highlighting the card is the Florida Stallion Stakes finale, the $400,000 In Reality. Going for the sweep of the series is Jacks or Better Farm’s homebred Jackson Bend, who has won four of five starts and is the only horse to beat the highly-regarded D' Funnybone.
Regular jockey Jeffrey Sanchez rides Jackson Bend for trainer Stanley Gold in the 28th edition of the In Reality at 1 1/16 miles, facing seven rivals as he bids to become the seventh horse to sweep the FSS series, a feat most recently accomplished last year by Big Drama.
A chestnut son of freshman stallion Hear No Evil, Jackson Bend has won his last four starts after a runner-up debut at Calder May 9. In his third start before the FSS series began, he won the $100,000 Frank Gomez Memorial July 11 by a half-length over D'Funnybone. The latter was subsequently sold privately and has won the Saratoga Special (gr. II) and Belmont Futurity (gr. II) since then.
A total of $1.225 million in purses will be awarded on Festival of the Sun Day.