05/29/2012 12:45PM

Calder: Flying Trip, Wild Bout Tiffany may get rematch in U Can Do It


MIAMI – Nominations are out for the four stakes that make up the June 9 Summit of Speed Preview card, and they include such notable sprinters as Eclipse Award winner Musical Romance in the U Can Do It along with Apriority and Giant Ryan, both members of last year’s Breeders’ Cup Sprint field, in the Ponche Handicap.

The four Summit of Speed Preview races serve as preps for the meet’s marquee event, the Summit of Speed, on July 7.

Trainer Bill Kaplan said it is “extremely unlikely” Musical Romance, runner-up to the sensational Groupie Doll in the Grade 1 Humana Distaff earlier this month at Churchill Downs, will run in the U Can Do It. Kaplan plans to train Musical Romance directly into the Grade 1 Princess Rooney Handicap on Summit of Speed Day.

Kaplan does have three other fillies nominated to the six-furlong U Can Do It, with Wild Bout Tiffany, runner-up in a high-level starter allowance race here Sunday, the only member of the quartet under consideration for the race.

Flying Trip, who rallied from far back to defeat Wild Bout Tiffany and capture Sunday’s main event, may have earned herself a spot in the U Can Do It with that effort. Flying Trip received a career-best 87 Beyer Speed Figure for her performance.

Another prominent and familiar name on the nomination list for the U Can Do It is Pica Slew, winner of the Grade 3 Azalea Stakes on Summit of Speed Day here two years ago when with trainer Joe Calascibetta. Pica Slew, who changes trainers about as often as most people change the oil in their car, is currently under the tutelage of Dale Romans who also nominated My Due Process to the race.

Angelica Zapata, who rallied in the slop to capture the one-mile Sara’s Success Stakes on May 19, also is among the nominees for the U Can Do It. Angelica Zapata worked five-eighths in 1:01.03 and galloped out a strong six furlongs in 1:13 and change for trainer Ron Pellegrini here Tuesday morning.

Both Apriority and Giant Ryan are being pointed to the Grade 2 Smile Sprint Handicap, a Win and You’re In race for this year’s Breeders’ Cup Sprint. They figure to vie for favoritism if they meet up in the six-furlong Ponche.

The other Summit of Speed Preview races are for 3-year-olds, the Unbridled Stakes and its filly counterpart, the Leave Me Alone. The Unbridled figures to feature an intriguing showdown between multiple stakes winner Fort Loudon and the up-and-coming Bahamian Squall. Redbud Road and Citizen Advocate top the list of prospective starters for the Leave Me Alone.

Gonzales rides first stakes winner

Empire Builder’s half-length victory over odds-on Csaba in Saturday’s Mambo Meister gave apprentice jockey Jonathan Gonzales the first stakes win of his young career.

“It feels so good I could almost cry,” Gonzalez said after the race. “I worked real hard for this.”

Gonzalez made a quick and decisive move with Empire Builder on the second turn of the 1 1/16-mile Mambo Meister, circling a crowded field on the final bend and opening a large enough advantage to be able to hold off a belated bid from Csaba who was ultimately disqualified and placed third for causing interference on the turn.

“I saw horses together on the rail and I knew I couldn’t get past, so I went outside and went clear,” Gonzales said.“Then my horse just took off and ran away.”

Gonzales currently rides with a seven-pound apprentice allowance, although trainer Luis Duco was unable to claim that allowance for Empire Builder in the Mambo Meister. Gonzales has registered 19 winners entering Thursday’s card, putting him third in the standings behind only Luis Saez and fellow bug rider Joe Rodriguez.

Landeros moves tack to Prairie Meadows

Jockey Chris Landeros packed his tack and headed to Prairie Meadows following the conclusion of Monday’s Memorial Day card. Landeros, a two time Lone Star riding champion, moved to south Florida near the tail end of the Gulfstream meet and was just beginning to catch on with local horsemen after the opening six weeks of the session.

“Chris got a call from Steve Asmussen who said he wanted him to come to Prairie Meadows to ride first call for him and then move on to Remington Park and eventually back to Lone Star,” said Dan Mellul who had handled Landeros’s book during his short tenure in south Florida. “And with an opportunity like that, I can’t blame him for leaving.”

Landeros won six races at the meet, the most notable of which came aboard Frolic’s Revenge in the Calder Oaks.

Florida TRAC relocates to Fort Pierce

Florida TRAC, the thoroughbred retirement and adoptive care program supported by the Gulfstream Park Thoroughbred After-Care Program, has relocated from Palm City to an 80-acre property in Fort Pierce, Fla. The new facility includes 75 stalls, two arenas, and a lodge.

“We’re very happy to work with our horses at such a wonderful facility,” said Barbi Moline, a member of TRAC’s advisory committee. “Our former farm was great, but we outgrew it. It was 25 acres with 10 stalls. The Fort Pierce farm has lots of grass and stalls for every horse, and we’ll be able to hold fundraising events in the lodge, which will give us more visibility.”

Tim Ritvo, president and general manager of Gulfstream Park and a member of the board of directors of TRAC, said “the farm allows TRAC to continue its outstanding work in rehabilitating and retraining our equine athletes. Hearing about a horse who has been adopted into a loving home is the greatest reward for anyone in our industry.”