06/07/2007 11:00PM

Ambitious plans for Stolen Prayer


MIAMI - Two overnight stakes with potential Summit of Speed implications, the $50,000 Ema Bovary and the $50,000 Heckofaralph, share top billing at Calder on Sunday.

The Ema Bovary is at six furlongs for fillies and mares, the same conditions as the Grade 1, $500,000 Princess Rooney Handicap, which is the co-highlight - along with the $500,000 Smile Sprint Handicap - of the $2 million Summit of Speed card on July 7.

The Ema Bovary attracted a field of nine, led by Stolen Prayer, A Sea Trippi, and Rgirldoesn'tbluff.

Stolen Prayer moved to the top of her division three weeks earlier with a 2 3/4-length victory in the 6 1/2-furlong Kimscountrydiamond Stakes. The win was the first for Stolen Prayer, a daughter of Songandaprayer, since she won the Snurb Stakes here nearly 13 months earlier.

Trained by Eddie Plesa Jr., Stolen Prayer also finished third earlier this winter in the Grade 3 Hurricane Bertie Handicap at Gulfstream Park. That was her first start since she closed out her 3-year-old campaign with a third-place finish last August in the Regal Gal Stakes.

"We just felt she had a hard campaign, and figured we'd freshen her up," Plesa said. "Things didn't turn out like we hoped they might up in the Northeast for her last season, so we just decided to give her some time off and a chance to mature over the winter."

Plesa is confident Stolen Prayer will turn in another big effort on Sunday.

"She's coming into this race as good or better as the last one, and I expect her to run well," said Plesa, who confirmed that Stolen Prayer would be pointed to the Princess Rooney if she has a good performance in the Ema Bovary.

Plesa could have several starters on the Summit of Speed card.

"A lot of my better 2-year-olds from last year are just gearing up now, and one or more of those could go in the Summit of Speed," he said.

"There's a race next week for Yesbyjimminy, and I'm hoping he'll run in the Carry Back.

"Villainage is ready to come back to the races, and there's a chance he might make that race as well. And I might consider shortening Adhrhythm up to six furlongs to run in the Azalea if she bounces back off her last race like I expect her to."

Lord Robyn tops Heckofaralph, if it's on turf

The Heckofaralph is slated to be run at five furlongs on the turf, which makes it a prep for the $100,000 Bob Umphrey Turf Sprint Handicap on July 7. But heavy showers just before first post on Friday and a forecast for more rain Saturday could mean that the race winds up on the main track.

On grass, Lord Robyn figures to be a heavy favorite coming off a three-length tally under similar conditions in the Reappeal Stakes on May 12. If the Heckofaralph is moved to the dirt, Wild Nature, Champagne Account, and Kopper Kilgoar would be the major beneficiaries.

Jermaine Bridgmohan back from injury

Apprentice sensation Jermaine Bridgmohan returned to the saddle Friday for the first time since suffering damaged muscle tissue in his right leg in a spill at Gulfstream Park on March 23. The spill was the second frightening incident for Bridgmohan during the Gulfstream meet, the first coming on opening day when he suffered a broken collarbone and was sidelined for nearly 10 weeks.

Bridgmohan, the younger brother of journeyman Shaun Bridgmohan, established a Tropical-at-Calder record by winning 110 races here last fall. He is seeking an extension on his five-pound apprentice allowance, which is scheduled to expire in November.

Bridgmohan rode Quarto Amigo for trainer Milt Wolfson in Friday's opener, finishing a distant sixth.

Peter Petro dead at 73

Longtime owner Peter Petro passed away earlier this week at the age of 73. He is the father of jockey Nick Petro, the late former rider Louis Petro, and trainers Mike Petro and Kathy Ritvo. In addition, his son-in-law, Tim Ritvo, is a mainstay on the south Florida circuit, where he won the Calder training title in 2005.

* Local horsemen were also mourning the death of former trainer Jerry Howe, who passed away last month. Howe trained on the West Coast and at Caliente during the 1970s and early 80s before retiring and going to work for such trainers as John Ward, Bill Mott, and Norman Pointer.