09/09/2010 11:50AM

Calder 2-year-olds get class test


MIAMI – The 2-year-old scene never rests at Calder. Although there is a brief lapse in the stakes schedule for south Florida-based juveniles, there is no lack of opportunities on a regular basis for promising youngsters hoping to earn their way into some of the lucrative stakes races coming up here later this fall.

Saturday’s program offers just such a chance for 2-year-olds, with a pair of 5 1/2-furlong entry-level allowance dashes, one for either sex and another for fillies, highlighting the 12-race card.

The open division drew a field of seven led by Dual Exhauzt, runner-up in the grassy Fasig Tipton Dash; Watch Me Go, a participant in the opening two legs of the Florida Stallion Stakes; and Derminato, who hasn’t started since dominating maiden special weight company in his only appearance four months earlier.

Dual Exhauzt led throughout to win his career debut. He set a contested pace along with stakes winner Little Drama before fading badly in the Dr. Fager division of the Stallion series before rebounding to finish second behind Machisa as the 8-5 choice in the Fasig Tipton Dash. He is one of several in this field with a turn of early foot.

Watch Me Go has also shown speed in his three starts. He was one of the most impressive maiden winners of the meet, cruising to a wire-to-wire tally and earning a 78 Beyer Speed Figure in late May. But Watch Me Go had the misfortune of breaking from the rail and catching the still-undefeated Gourmet Dinner when finishing fourth and fifth in the Affirmed and Dr. Fager divisions of the Stallion series.

Determinato drew off to an 8 3/4-length victory in his only start, which came in the first baby race of the meet back on May 1. His most immediate victim that day was Grande Shores, subsequently the runner-up in the Dr. Fager.

Cristal Jak should be odds-on to capture the filly split of Saturday’s feature. A daughter of Drewman, Cristal Jak has shown marked improvement in her last two starts, pulling away to a seven-length maiden win when dropped in under a $40,000 price tag on Aug. 12 before returning just 16 days later to finish second behind the unbeaten division leader Awesome Feather in the seven-furlong Susan’s Girl.

Recent maiden breakers Nice Cookie and Limbo Dancer are also on the improve. Nice Cookie has been much more focused with the addition of blinkers, finally earning her diploma in her fourth try with an easy 6 1/2-length maiden claiming win July 23.

Limbo Dancer proved no match for Nice Cookie when the pair met in July over a wet track, but bounced back with a 4 3/4-length maiden win of her own just three weeks later.