Updated on 09/15/2011 1:35PM

Band Is Passing regains best form

Jean Raftery/Turfotos
Band Is Passing scores his first victory since early June in Saturday's Grade 3 Tropical Turf Handicap.

MIAMI - Band Is Passing, whose form tailed off a bit this summer, proved he is back on top of his game by rallying from just off the pace to score a 3 1/4-length decision over the late-striding Crash Course in Saturday's $100,000 Tropical Turf Handicap. The Grade 3 Tropical Turf* (click here for chart) highlighted the Grand Slam I program at Calder that included three other stakes valued at $100,000 apiece.

Band Is Passing was winless in three starts since registering his only victory of the season here June 3 in the Blazing Bart Handicap. Despite his recent losses, Band Is Passing was the 118-pound highweight against a strong field in the Tropical Turf and easily dispatched his 11 rivals after running down the pacesetting Groomstick Stock's in early stretch. Crash Course had to steady inside Slew Valley on the far turn, then finished full of run to be second best, two lengths in front of the tiring Groomstick Stock's.

Tijiyr, the 8-5 favorite, raced wide and finished a well beaten 10th.

Band Is Passing ($16) ran 1 1/8 miles in 1:46.90 over a course rated good. He also completed a pick four combining the winners of the four Grand Slam stakes races that returned $1,977.50 for a $1 ticket.

"I always had the utmost confidence in this horse, even when he was not running his best this summer," said Band Is Passing's owner, breeder, and trainer, Stanley Ersoff. "He had a bad trip to Kentucky for the Firecracker and it took him a lot longer to fully recover and return to his peak. But I think he proved today that he's as good as ever now. He's really been a special horse to me."

Tropical Turf Chart*

* Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader.