07/06/2009 11:00PM

Ask Joe supplements to Carry Back

Email

MIAMI - Trainer Steve Klesaris hadn't originally planned on bringing Ask Joe to Calder for Saturday's Grade 2 Carry Back Stakes. But after a minor eye issue forced Ask Joe to miss last weekend's Jersey Shore Stakes at Monmouth Park, Klesaris decided to put up the $4,000 supplemental fee and ship his stakes-winning 3-year-old to south Florida for the six-furlong Carry Back.

The Carry Back will be Ask Joe's second start at 3. A son of Najran, Ask Joe rallied to a fourth-place finish last month in Monmouth's Rumson Stakes while making his first start since closing out his short but successful juvenile campaign with a victory in the Sugar Bowl Stakes at Fair Grounds.

"He had a little mild tear in his hind ankle, and it kept him out of training for a couple of months earlier this winter," Klesaris said. "I thought his first race back was excellent, considering it came over the speed-conducive Monmouth track where horses have trouble making up a lot of ground. The only places to run him back at this time were in the Jersey Shore or down in Florida, and after missing the race at Monmouth, I just felt it was worth taking a shot in the Carry Back, even though we had to put up the extra money to run."

Ask Joe spent much of Tuesday just getting to Calder. Stabled at Fair Hill, he had to first take the van ride from Maryland to Republic Airport on Long Island before boarding the flight that brought him to Miami later Tuesday afternoon.

"My biggest concern going down there at this time of year is the humidity," Klesaris said. "I couldn't believe how bad it was when we came down here the last couple of summers with Miraculous Miss. Fortunately, it bothered me a lot more than it bothered her. She finished fourth two years ago and second last year in the Princess Rooney, and hopefully he'll acclimate and adjust to the humidity as well as the track surface without any issue."

Ask Joe is one of only six 3-year-olds entered for the Carry Back. The presence of a couple of California invaders in the lineup, Truest Legend and Wall Street Wonder, should assure an honest pace, with the locally based pair of You Luckie Mann and Prince Joshua expected to be close behind the West Coast duo right from the start. Not for Silver, like Ask Joe a Maryland-based shipper who does his best running from behind, completes the field.

Wolfson runners get final drills

Leading trainer Marty Wolfson has a dozen horses entered on Saturday's Summit of Speed program, nine of whom are scheduled to compete in the four graded stakes on the card, including You Luckie Mann in the Carry Back. Several members of that group turned in their final works on Tuesday, topped by Ikigai, who went a bullet half-mile in 47 seconds shortly before the renovation break. Ikigai, who is coming off a disappointing effort as the favorite in the 4 1/2-furlong Charles Town Dash Handicap, will team up with stablemate Processor's Turf against Benny the Bull in the Grade 2 Smile Sprint.

Among Wolfson's other stakes candidates to breeze Tuesday were Royal Card (half-mile in 49 seconds), who is one of three members of the stable entered for the Grade 3 Azalea, and the privately purchased Mr. Green (half-mile in 48.80), who will compete in the inaugural edition of the Frank Gomez Memorial for 2-year-olds.

* Phone Marybe, who could go postward as the favorite in Saturday's $100,000 J J'sdream Stakes for 2-year-old fillies, blew out three furlongs in 36.54 seconds from the gate for trainer Juan Arias on Tuesday. Phone Marybe, a daughter of Officer, was a 9 1/2-length winner of her career debut here May 7, but could not duplicate the effort when finishing a troubled fifth in the Grade 3 Debutante on June 27 at Churchill Downs.

* Although Saturday's program is dubbed the Summit of Speed and caters to sprinters, racing secretary Mike Anifantis carded a couple of two-turn races near the tail end of the 13-race program, including the $55,000 American Dreamer overnight stakes for 3-year-olds on the grass. The 1 1/16-mile American Dreamer drew a familiar-looking group, topped by Grand Cash, Cinnamon Road, Livingston Street, and Temo's Dream.

* As always, the jockeys' room will play host to many notable riders from around the country on Saturday, including Hall of Famers Edgar Prado and Mike Smith. Prado will have mounts in all four graded stakes, topped by Benny the Bull in the Smile and Game Face in the Princess Rooney. Smith will handle all three of trainer Bob Baffert's runners in the Summit of Speed, including likely favorites Indian Blessing in the Princess Rooney and the undefeated Underground in the Azalea.