07/02/2012 3:53PM

Calder: Few shippers make trip for Summit of Speed

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Bob Coglianese
Musical Romance figures to be favored in Saturday's Grade 1 Princess Rooney Handicap.

MIAMI – There used to be a time when northern invaders would ship down in droves and dominate the rich Summit of Speed, leaving town year in and year out with most of the big bucks up for grabs during Calder Race Course’s marquee event.

But with the number of rich options for sprinters having increased substantially nationwide since the Summit’s inception in 2000, that trend has reversed itself recently with locally based runners having won seven of the eight graded Summit stakes decided over the past two summers. And the home team is virtually assured of dividing up the majority of the prize money once again this year, with only four horses based outside south Florida shipping down to compete in the four graded stakes on Saturday’s 12-race Summit of Speed card.

The $400,000 Princess Rooney Handicap, the only Grade 1 event on the Calder stakes program, and the Grade 2, $400,000 Smile Handicap, a Win and You’re In race for the Breeders’ Cup Sprint, once again highlight the program. The $150,000 Carry Back and its filly counterpart, the $150,000 Azalea, are both Grade 3 events.

The imposing presence of the locally based Musical Romance, the reigning Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint and Eclipse Award winner, is one reason out-of-town horsemen are reluctant to ship down for the Princess Rooney. Only two fillies, Grade 2 winner Nicole H and Grade 3 winner Bouquet Booth, have made the trip to south Florida to face Musical Romance, runner-up in the 2011 Princess Rooney, over her home course.

A field of 11 was drawn Monday for the six-furlong Princess Rooney, five of the 11 from the barn of trainer Marty Wolfson. Nicole H tuned up for the race by breezing a half-mile in 48.78 seconds here Monday.

Only Gantry, exiting a third-place finish behind Shackleford and reigning Sprint champion Amazombie in the Grade 2 Churchill Downs, has shipped in to try to win a free pass into the Breeders’ Cup Sprint with a victory in the Smile. The remainder of the field consists of locals led by Apriority and Field Commission.

Trinniberg, winner of Belmont’s Grade 2 Woody Stephens in his first start since the Kentucky Derby, was cross-entered in both the Carry Back and Smile.

Grass Is Greener More than 1 year ago
The Smile and the Princess Rooney have drawn a 10-horse and 11-horse fields. You can't really complain. I hope Trinniberg goes in the Smile Sprint, he will definitely get overbet. It will make the Carry Back really easy. I will place a big bet on Fort Loudon even at very short price. Looking to beat Trinniberg, Gantry and Field Commission in the Smile Sprint. I will take a stab with the two long layoff horses, Indiano and Artefacto bet both to win. In the feature Princess Rooney, I'm going with Bouquet Booth to upset Musical Romance. If it comes up sloppy, I would go with Musical Romance win place.
Dennis Fisher More than 1 year ago
How can any one support the Churchill Downs Inc race track when their Be Smart Bet Smart Thomas Meeker/Robert Evans 2006 marketing program orders come to our private property racetracks wagering public etc not to make money but for our entertainment - do not chase your loses but write them off to our entertainment meaning their white collar crimes well supported by their Corporate and State Department crimes.
Grass Is Greener More than 1 year ago
Well, perhaps a lot of us are merely simple folks who treat this as an exciting past-time and hobby. I personally don't consider myself a supporter of any race track or jurisdiction. If I see a race or an entire race card that I like, I print it out, make my choices before hand, observe the toteboard 10 minutes before the race, decide if I should make any change in betting strategy, I bet the race, and I watch the race. If I lose, I look up the next race that I have printed out. If I win, I wait for the payouts after the results become official. So simple, why do some people always have to make things so complicated? On the other hand, I do enjoy betting on races at Hollywood Park because they have by far the lowest take-out of all the major tracks. Today's totally no-brainer late Pick 4 with 3 favorites and a Baffert 7-2 3rd choice in the feature race paid a ridiculously generous $106.80 for $1 when the parlay was only $44.32 ($2 winners for the 4 races paid $3.60, $3.80, $9.60 and $5.60). I am sure that in Kentucky or New York, this P4 would have paid about $60. I am still miffed that Churchill's Stephen Foster day all stakes P4 only paid $367.70 for $1 when the parlay was only $208 ($2 winners for the 4 races paid $10.00, $5.00, $3.20 and $20.80). Only Hollywood Park multi-race for me from now on.
Dennis Fisher More than 1 year ago
Calder has become a ghost town simply because of its secret roots of in-house corruption and foul playacts that have affected the trustworthy wagering public, horseman tax payers and American - International simulcast audience etc in many different degrading ways, how do they explain the Steve Cross and unnamed co-conspirators stealing $4.5 million dollars just image what they have stolen from the public refer to conspiredcorruption.wordpress.com
Mike More than 1 year ago
If they are still charging backstretch workers $5 a day to live in tiny cells that have traditionally been no charge, I'll pass on playing Calder any day.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Seems if no one bets on Calder that will only make rent go up. If your mad about the $5 a day then you may want to bet on Calder more so they make more money. Then they can do away with the rent.
David Rose More than 1 year ago
I can't blame the shippers for not shipping in for this event, as I was there in 2000 to witness the Summit of Speed and it was SO HOT there in July, I thought i'd friggin'melt! I wouldn't want to ship my sprinter in there and have the ridiculous heat take its toll on my horse.
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
But Man, It's been a hundred plus like everywhere.
Chris Jones More than 1 year ago
Chad, it is not usually 100+ everywhere else. I live in Florida, and 90-100 in the deep south is FAR worse than that temperature elsewhere due to the humidity. Just as 30 degrees in Florida feels much colder than 30 degrees up north - HUMIDITY.
Julie More than 1 year ago
That's why Louisiana has no problem shipping :)
Brian Russell More than 1 year ago
The humidity (and often the temperature as well) is MUCH higher in Louisville than in Miami. I'm from Louisville and live in the Miami area so I know this from first hand experience.
Slew32A More than 1 year ago
If 30 degrees feels colder in Florida ( which I think it does to residents because of the blood being thinned ) then wouldn't the opposite be true that 100 would be worse up north because your body hasn't acclimated?
Grass Is Greener More than 1 year ago
Chris Jones is right. In physics, if you add humidity to a 100F day, you will lower the temperature. Therefore in Florida with its already high humidity, a 100F day tend to feel hotter than in other areas in the country that are less humid. On the other hand, if you add humidity to a 30F day, you will raise the temperature. Therefore in Florida with its already high humidity, a 30F day tend to feel colder than in other areas in the country that are less humid.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Calder should drop the Carry Back and Azalea and use that purse money to make the Smile $600,000 and the Princess Rooney $500,000. That should attract a few more horses. I would have liked to have seen Shackleford run in the Smile. I'd like to see him commit to sprinting. At least we have a field of 11 for the P.R. That's pretty good