05/10/2007 11:00PM

Big plans for Hal's My Hope


MIAMI - Imawildandcrazyguy and Storm in May were good enough to compete in the Kentucky Derby, but they aren't the only 3-year-olds with national aspirations stabled at Calder this summer. Not after Hal's My Hope demolished a small but talented field by more than a dozen lengths last weekend in the Unbridled Stakes.

Hal's My Hope, a homebred son of Halo's Image trained by his owner, Barry Rose, was making his first start in the Unbridled since finishing fifth behind Scat Daddy two months earlier in the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream Park. Overcoming a slow start, Hal's My Hope took the lead entering the clubhouse turn and steadily extended his advantage over the likes of multiple stakes winners Green Vegas and Yesbyjimminy through the stretch of the 1 1/16-mile Unbridled.

"Obviously I'm very pleased with his last race," said Rose, the son of the late owner-breeder-trainer Harold Rose. "He ran as well as we expected."

Rose had hoped to run Hal's My Hope in the Grade 1 Florida Derby as a possible stepping-stone to the Kentucky Derby, but had to scratch those plans after his horse came down with a cough the week of the race.

"He ran well enough after a slow start in the Fountain of Youth that I was really looking forward to trying him in the Florida Derby," said Rose. "We probably could have run him, too, but I just didn't want to take the chance and put him in there if he wasn't 100 percent. It didn't make sense. And perhaps it was a blessing in disguise, because now he might be a little fresher than everybody else if he gets to meet the big boys coming out of the Triple Crown later this year."

Rose said he is pointing Hal's My Hope to Saturday's Peter Pan Stakes at Belmont Park, with his goals this summer the Jim Dandy and perhaps the Travers at Saratoga.

"I might have tried him in the Preakness but I didn't nominate him after he missed the Florida Derby, so the Peter Pan looks like the best option," said Rose. "I'll work him here out of the gate Sunday and then ship him to New York the following day. I don't have a rider lined up yet, but we'll find someone up there who is not committed to the race and wants to win some big races in New York this year."

Charlie Papa's streak goes way back

Charlie Papa, who has fashioned a six-race winning streak that began in the fall of 2004, will be among the top contenders in Sunday's $50,000 Cool Air Stakes at five furlongs on the turf for fillies and mares.

Charlie Papa began her streak at Hoosier Downs in October of 2004 and has recorded her last five victories at Tampa Bay Downs. The last three of those tallies came on the turf - one on Jan. 6, 2006, and the last pair earlier this season following a 13-month layoff. Charlie Papa, a 6-year-old daughter of Indian Charlie, is trained by Connie Kendall for the Kennedy and Hess Thoroughbred Racing Stable, who claimed the versatile mare at Tampa for a bargain $12,500 during the winter of 2005.

The Cool Air drew a field of 10 that also includes Silversider, Stolen Prayer, and A Sea Trippi.

Silversider comes off a career-best performance in the 1 1/16-mile Hollywood Wildcat Breeders' Cup, finishing third after setting all the pace, but she is also winless in five starts going five furlongs on grass.

Stolen Prayer returns to turf for the first time since last summer in New Jersey, but did fare well over this course earlier in her career when second to the odds-on J'ray in the Tropical Park Oaks at 3.

A Sea Trippi rose to the head of her division here on dirt last summer after winning the U Can Do It Handicap and Sugar N Spice Stakes, but has disappointed in each of her last three starts, including her grass debut on March 31.

Toribio to return on Thursday

Veteran agent Dick Diego will begin handling engagements for jockey Abdiel Toribio, a longtime favorite in the local colony who has taken the last year off due to a hand injury. Toribio has been breezing horses here this past week and will start accepting mounts on Thursday.

Toribio is the 10th-leading rider in total victories during Calder's spring-summer meeting, with 680 winners. The native of Panama was also leading rider at Hialeah in 1993 and 1996.