07/08/2013 1:08PM

Calder: Breeders’ Cup still possible for Starship Truffles

Coady Photography
Starship Truffles was purchased privately for $20,000 last summer.

MIAMI – Trainer Marty Wolfson said the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint would not be an option for Starship Truffles immediately after her victory in Saturday’s Grade 1 Princess Rooney Handicap at Calder. By Monday, however, Wolfson said the door still remained open, if only slightly, for a possible trip to Santa Anita in the fall.

“We’ve had a couple of offers to buy the filly since the race on Saturday,” Wolfson said from his new home base at Gulfstream Park. “One of those offers came from Gary Barber, who is one of my clients, and if he were to purchase the horse it would be for the purpose of taking her to the Breeders’ Cup.”

Starship Truffles, a former $6,250 claimer, took control of the Princess Rooney with a sudden burst of speed approaching the quarter pole, opened a comfortable advantage in early stretch and cruised to a 3 3/4-length decision over the even-money Judy the Beauty. Starship Truffles earned a career-tying-best 96 Beyer Speed Figure for her performance, matching the number she posted winning a $6,250 starter allowance race just one week earlier.

Wolfson purchased Starship Truffles privately for a bargain $20,000 for Chasing Tails Stables following a third-place finish against bottom-level starter allowance opposition at Calder last August. A daughter of Ghostzapper, Starship Truffles had won her three previous starts by a combined 22 lengths and went on to capture 6 of her next 7 races after switching to Wolfson’s barn.

“We were just looking for a nice starter allowance filly when we bought her,” Wolfson said. “She was going long at the time, but once I shortened her back up I realized she was much more effective at distances up to a mile. There’s no comparison.”

The only poor race Starship Truffles has turned in since joining Wolfson’s stable came in the U Can Do It Handicap on June 8, when she finished a well-beaten sixth in the major local prep for the Princess Rooney.

“She came out of the race with a case of the thumps, a severe chemical imbalance,” Wolfson explained. “So I began treating her with a supplement I use called Z Oil, and it made all the difference in the world. It also did wonders for Swagger Jack in the weeks leading up to his victory in the Carter earlier this year. The product is imported from Ghana, and I learned about it from one of my partners, who is from Africa.”

Wolfson said Starship Truffles came out of the Princess Rooney in good order and has settled in nicely in her new surroundings at Gulfstream.

“I’ll take a look at the Ballerina at Saratoga, although if we get in a rut with her, I can always run her back in another starter allowance race,” said Wolfson. “A lot depends upon whether my owner sells her, although I believe his plan at the moment is to race her until November and then put her in the Night of Stars sale at Fasig-Tipton, which is held immediately after the Breeders’ Cup.”

Wolfson also reported that he scratched Swagger Jack from the Grade 2 Smile on Saturday because of a disagreement he and his owner had with track officials earlier in the week. Swagger Jack is owned by Silverton Hill, whose Heiko had won the fifth race at Gulfstream Park on July 1 but was not allowed to return to the grounds at Calder that evening.

“I discussed it with my owner, and we both decided we did not want to showcase a Grade 1 horse like Swagger Jack at Calder after they put him through what they did by not allowing him to return to his stall on Monday,” Wolfson said. “He wound up spending the night instead as the only horse in a 50-stall barn at Gulfstream. The racing office at Gulfstream said they would write a seven-furlong overnight stakes for $100,000 in three weeks, and since that’s a more effective distance for him than the six-furlong Smile, we felt we’d rather wait and run him at a track that would appreciate having him.”

Bahamian Squall to go tested route

While Starship Truffles’ status for the Breeders’ Cup remains uncertain, there is no doubt where Bahamian Squall will be on the first Saturday in November. He’ll be at Santa Anita for the Breeders’ Cup Sprint.

Bahamian Squall earned an automatic berth in the Sprint by virtue of his 1 3/4-length victory over defending Sprint champ Trinniberg in Saturday’s Grade 2 Smile, a Win and You’re In race for the Breeders’ Cup.

Trainer David Fawkes said he will like take a similar path to the Breeders’ Cup with Bahamian Squall that worked so well for Big Drama three years ago. Big Drama won the 2010 Smile as a prelude to his victory four months later in the Sprint.

“I’ll give him a little time off to catch his breath and maybe look for something at Saratoga later this summer,” Fawkes said on Monday. “He’ll have two races, at most, before the Breeders’ Cup, just like Drama did.”

Fawkes said he does see some similarities between Bahamian Squall, who earned a 101 Beyer Speed Figure in capturing his first graded stakes on Saturday, and Big Drama.

“Like Big Dream, Bahamian Squall is very manageable and easy to train, although Drama was probably a little more high-strung on race days,” said Fawkes, who like Wolfson moved his entire stable from Calder to Gulfstream this week. “I’ve always thought a lot of this horse since he was a baby, but little issues kept him from the races as a 2-year-old. And he had some tough racing luck in several of his races or he’d probably have already been a graded stakes winner before now.”

Fawkes reported that Apriority, Bahamian Squall’s older brother, came out of his disappointing 10th-place finish in the Smile in good order and like Swagger Jack may also be pointed for the overnight stakes at Gulfstream later this month.

“Apriority hasn’t seen the winner’s circle in awhile, so I’d like to find something a little softer for him, try to get a win under his belt, and give him a little confidence boost,” Fawkes said.

Riders jump at opportunity

The conflict between Gulfstream and Calder has opened a world of opportunities for local riders. Two who have been quick to take advantage of those opportunities are Hugo Sanchez and Jilver Chamalfi, both of whom are off to a quick start after the opening week of Gulfstream’s first-ever summer meeting.

With fellow apprentice Edgard Zayas and veteran Manny Cruz opting to ride at Calder on Sunday, Sanchez was the star just eight miles across town. Sanchez won the first four races on Sunday’s eight race offering at Gulfstream, giving him the lead in the jockey standings with seven winners after the opening four days of the meet.

Chamalfi posted a hat trick on Saturday and also won the main event on Sunday aboard the favored El Romano, who gamely turned back a bid from No Lift Shift to post a popular victory at 8-5 in the optional claiming and allowance race on the turf.