07/21/2016 1:40PM

Calculator makes turf debut

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Shigeki Kikkawa
Calculator has won at two turns and sprinting, but he has never run on turf.

DEL MAR, Calif. – Calculator won a graded stakes on dirt in early 2015 as a 3-year-old and has two seconds and a third in graded sprints this year. On Saturday, Calculator’s career will go in a different direction when he starts for the first time on turf.

There are indications that Calculator will run well in a strong field in Saturday’s fifth race, a one-mile optional claimer. He worked a half-mile in 51.60 seconds on turf last Sunday.

“I’m expecting a top effort,” trainer Peter Miller said on Thursday. “The hope is we can use this race as a springboard for the Del Mar Mile.”

:: DEL MAR: Buy pps, watch Saturday's card live

The $200,000 Del Mar Mile on turf will be run Aug. 21.

Owned by Richard Pell, Calculator was last of 10 in the $1.25 million Met Mile at Belmont Park on June 11. The colt emerged from the race with foot problems, Miller said.

Calculator was second in both the Grade 1 Carter Handicap at Aqueduct on April 9 and the Grade 2 Churchill Downs Stakes on the Kentucky Derby undercard May 7.

Saturday’s optional claimer drew a field of 11. Other prominent runners are Metaboss, who won the Grade 3 El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate Fields in 2015 and recently joined trainer Phil D’Amato’s stable, and Skelton Pass, the winner of an optional claimer at a mile on turf at Santa Anita on June 4.

J Vette More than 1 year ago
What a horrible article...he gets paid to write NOTHING, had a foot problem, where's the follow-up questions ??? Is the horse taking to the turf, is he in top shape, is this just an experiment ???

Do you actually receive a paycheck fo doing this ???
Michael Arndt More than 1 year ago
It says pretty clearly they are using this as a springboard to the Del Mar Mile, and that they are expecting a top effort. As for the foot problem, if they are expecting a top effort and hope to take down a $200k stake next out, his feet are fine. At the same time, he could be running in $62,500 claimers for a tag if this doesn't work out and owners don't appreciate their trainer talking about past injuries that may keep a horse from being claimed if that's the goal.