04/01/2013 4:17PM

Calder Derby attracts Speak Logistics

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Tom Keyser
Speak Logistics will run Saturday in the $250,000 Calder Derby rather than try for Kentucky Derby points in the Blue Grass.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Trainer Eddie Plesa Jr. opted to pass a last chance to get Speak Logistics eligible for the Kentucky Derby when he decided to forgo the Grade 1 Blue Grass on April 13 for Saturday’s $250,000 Calder Derby. Speak Logistics, who has earned 11 Derby qualifying points, will be the heavy favorite to win the opening-day feature at Calder.

“The Derby trail is a nice trail, no question about it, but a $250,000 race with $150,000 to the winner is a nice payday,” Plesa said. “I sat down with the owners on Sunday and decided there are plenty of nice races for 3-year-olds coming up, so let’s go ahead and get the money instead of going to the Blue Grass, which figures to be a mad dash for qualifying points.”

[ROAD TO THE KENTUCKY DERBY: Prep races, point standings, replays]

A field of eight was entered for the nine-furlong Calder Derby, which also includes Sky Captain, Michael With Us, Elmutahid, Reporting Star, Sr. Quisquayano, Offlee Fast, and Joshua’s Comprise.

Calder’s opening program also could feature the return of jockey Luis Saez, who missed the final four weeks of the Gulfstream meet after suffering a fractured hip in a spill over the turf course here March 9. Saez, who was second in the jockey standings at the time of his injury, will finish in fourth place for the meet with 68 victories, despite sitting out the final month of the session.

His agent, Richard DePass, said Saez was expected to receive final clearance from his doctor later in the week to begin riding again Saturday.