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Calder: Argentine Tango should get fast pace to run at in Thursday allowance
By Mike Welsch
MIAMI – Argentine Tango spent the winter in Tampa but will return to familiar grounds as the horse to beat in Thursday’s $31,000 allowance feature at Calder.
Argentine Tango, a homebred son of Black Mambo owned by Fred Brei’s Jacks or Better Farm, ran five times this year for trainer Stanley Gold at Tampa Bay Downs. His two best efforts were a last-to-first allowance win in January and a second-place finish behind Flatter This in the Challenger Stakes on March 2. Both of those races were over the main track. Argentine Tango also ran twice on grass during the Tampa meet but with less success.
The stretch-running Argentine Tango should catch a very legitimate pace to run at during his homecoming Thursday, facing a field that includes Hello Prince, Two Is to Many, Tell Tale Friend, and Sky Venture, who all do their best running on or near the lead.
Hello Prince turned in a huge effort two starts back at Gulfstream when withstanding a nearly race-long speed duel before dropping a three-quarter-length decision under second-level optional-claiming conditions March 9. He returned three weeks later against similar opposition and led into the stretch before fading to finish a well-beaten sixth behind the highly regarded Rattlesnake Bridge.
Two Is to Many chased Hello Prince in each of his last two starts and figures to do the same when they meet for the third time in less than six weeks. Two Is to Many should relish the return to his home base, having posted all four of his career victories at Calder.
Tell Tale Friend will benefit from a drop in class but is another who appears destined to be part of the early mix if showing his best speed. Tell Tale Friend, second in the Our Dear Peg Stakes here last September, was defeated only two lengths by Swagger Jack, the winner of the Grade 1 Carter earlier this month in New York, going a mile at Gulfstream on Jan. 17.
Storm Warnings adds blinkers and steps up in class but could benefit from the expected pace scenario and prove a live longshot for veteran horseman George Handy.
◗ Jockey Paco Lopez has been red hot since the meet opened April 6, winning with nine of his first 18 mounts. Lopez will primarily ride locally until Monmouth Park opens early next month.
Lopez will be at Hawthorne on Saturday to ride Narvaez in the Illinois Derby for trainer Agustin Bezara.
◗ A full field of 12, plus two also-eligibles, was drawn for Saturday’s Grade 3 Miami Mile Handicap. Summer Front will go postward as the 120-pound highweight and likely favorite for trainer Christophe Clement against a field that includes Grade 3 winner Mucho Mas Macho, Monument Hill, and Cool Blue Red Hot.
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