05/26/2009 12:00AM

Americanrevolution surely loves Florida


MIAMI - Americanrevolution has never lost a race in south Florida. In fact, Americanrevolution had never really been tested in this part of the country until last Sunday, when he was forced to turn back a couple of tries from Grade 2 winner How's Your Halo before registering a one-length allowance victory. He's now 4 for 4 at Calder, all for trainer Bill White, and has two additional wins at Gulfstream Park.

"The old horse had to run today," White said shortly after Americanrevolution kept his local mark unblemished. "That's the first time when I've had him that he's ever had to lay it all on the line. This looked like a two-horse race on paper and it certainly played out just that way."

Americanrevolution, a 6-year-old gelded son of Maria's Mon, is back with White for the third time in his career. He first came to Calder late in 2006 after failing to win his maiden in six starts up north. Americanrevolution quickly ran off three straight victories within a five-week span, winning his maiden and a first-level allowance at Calder as well as a second-level allowance in January 2007 at Gulfstream.

Americanrevolution left White's barn later that winter, heading first to Kentucky and then California, where he had limited success, eventually finishing far back under a $20,000 claiming tag at Hollywood Park in his 2007 finale. He returned briefly to south Florida the following spring, just long enough to earn a career-best 107 Beyer Speed Figure dominating $20,000 starter allowance company for White at Gulfstream. He spent the next eight months on the sidelines before shipping back to New York with little success at the tail end of 2008.

Americanrevolution returned to White's barn again this past winter and has been unbeatable ever since. Sunday's victory was his third since March 26 and puts him on a path that could lead to a starting berth in the Grade 2 Smile Sprint Handicap on July 11.

"This is the third time I've had him and it's a mystery to me what happens to this horse when he leaves our barn," White said. "He just worked himself down the ladder after he left here and it's not like one guy had him and messed him up. He's been with several different people along the way. And there's no secret to the way I train him. He's a cookie-cutter horse, which means I train him the same way I train everybody else in the barn."

White said he was glad he was able to get Sunday's race to go for Americanrevolution because it fits in perfectly with his upcoming plans.

"This was an important race because now I can run him in the Ponche and if all goes well we'll possibly take a look at the Summit of Speed," said White.

The $75,000 Ponche will be decided at six furlongs on June 13.

Americanrevolution's victory on Sunday, and another by For All Who Conga the following afternoon, put White back in a familiar position atop the trainer standings with nine wins for the meet. White won eight consecutive training titles at Calder from 1997-2004 and another in 2006 before relinquishing his crown to Kirk Ziadie each of the last two seasons. White has also accounted for five Tropical at Calder championships.

"We've been knocking on the door the last couple of years. It's not like we've had bad meets, it's just that others have had better," said White. "My stable still hasn't recovered completely from the purse cuts last year. As a result, I had several clients cut back and others who stopped racing altogether. Starting this meet with everything settled is a big help, but it will take a while for things to get back to normal."

Cruz collects win No. 2,000

After having his number taken down following an apparent victory in Saturday's finale and finishing second in four of the first six races on Sunday's card, it looked like jockey Manoel Cruz might never get his 2,000th winner. But Cruz finally achieved the milestone aboard Catch Rikki in Sunday's seventh race.

Cruz, 39, is a native of Brazil. He won 1,200 races before coming to the U.S. in 2000, earned his first riding title in this country two years later at Tampa Bay Downs, and has been a mainstay in south Florida ever since. Cruz already owns a couple of Calder riding titles and three Tropical at Calder crowns, including both the 2007 and 2008 titles.

"They told me Saturday I was getting close," said Cruz after recording his 2,000th winner. "I love my job and this makes me very happy. Now I can't wait for 3,000, 4,000, and 5,000."

Cruz begins Thursday's program with a 35-26 advantage over Jeffrey Sanchez in the standings after booting home three more winners on Monday's card.

* Lady Sprinter failed in her bid to win her first race in the U.S. when she finished a tiring fourth behind the favored Jessica Is Back in Sunday's 10th race. Lady Sprinter, who won 8 of 9 starts before shipping to this country for the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint, was making her Calder debut and first start in 2009.

* The new training schedule began here Tuesday with the main track now open from 5 a.m. until 8:30 a.m. to facilitate construction on the slots parlor, which is scheduled for completion in January 2010. There was no break during training hours on Tuesday and none was planned on Wednesday, although a daily break will be instituted at 6:30 a.m. beginning Thursday, according to John Marshall, the track's vice president and general manager of racing.