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Calder: Foolish Pleasure highlight of four-stakes card
By Mike Welsch
MIAMI – The $85,000 Foolish Pleasure Stakes has traditionally been an attractive alternative for south Florida-based juveniles not eligible for the lucrative Stallion Stakes races, which have dominated the summer schedule at Calder since its inception more than 30 years ago.
The one mile and 70-yard Foolish Pleasure, which was won a year ago by Preakness and Florida Derby runner-up Itsmyluckyday, will be decided for the 34th time on Saturday. The fall fixture shares top billing on the card with its filly counterpart, the $85,000 Brave Raj, along with a pair of turf stakes for 3-year-olds, the $70,000 Needles for both sexes and the $70,000 Judy’s Red Shoes for fillies.
Brothersofthetime, who is not Stallion Stakes eligible, heads the field for the Foolish Pleasure. He has won three of his first four starts, including the Seacliff Stakes when he held gamely to outlast East Hall by a nose going a mile here on Aug. 24. Brothersofthetime, a Florida-bred son of Bob and John trained by Antonio Sano, suffered his only setback when finishing second behind the graded-stakes-placed Yes I’m Lucky in the Frank Gomez Memorial.
Best Plan Yet, who chased home local division leader My Brown Eyed Guy in the opening two legs of the Stallion Stakes, the Dr. Fager and Affirmed, is likely to vie for favoritism with Brothersofthetime in the Foolish Pleasure. Trainer Stanley Gold will take the blinkers off Best Plan Yet, who will be stretching out around two turns for the first time on Saturday. He’ll be joined in the lineup by stablemate D N A Approved, a tiring third in the Seacliff.
Trainer Bill Kaplan said he likes East Hall’s chances to reverse his recent setback at the hands of Brothersofthetime, even though he enters the Foolish Pleasure still a maiden.
“East Hall has been crying since I had him to go two turns, and he showed his ability in the Seacliff,” said Kaplan. “He missed in that race by a head bob, which was a heartbreaker.”
East Hall has also improved since Kaplan added blinkers two starts back.
“He had a little problem leaving gate and was also a little shy being around horses,” said Kaplan. “The blinkers have helped get him more focused.”
Brave Raj a Lindsay Frolic rematch
Flat Out Charming, another locally based, Florid-bred juvenile not eligible for the Stallion Stakes, will put her modest two-race winning streak on the line in the Brave Raj. Flat Out Charming rallied to a nose decision over Light Bringer in the one-mile Lindsay Frolic three weeks earlier, for her second victory in three starts.
Light Bringer will return in the Brave Raj as will Look of a Star and Jackie’s Daughter, who finished third and fourth in the Lindsay Frolic.
With Scandalous Act, the top 2-year-old filly in the area, not running, Kaplan will send both Quinnkat and Holiday Magic in the Brave Raj. Quinnkat finished second behind Scandalous Act in the Susan’s Girl division of the Stallion Stakes and third in the Desert Vixen. Holiday Magic was second as the even-money favorite in the Desert Vixen and third in the seven-furlong Susan’s Girl.
“Like East Hall, Quinnkat just loves the two-turn deal,” said Kaplan. “Holiday Magic is a quicker filly and I’ve been working hard to get her to settle down. If she can handle the added distance she’ll be tough. I was originally only going to run Holiday Magic in this race, but when I learned Scandalous Act wasn’t running I put them both in.”
Statutorial, Dreaming of Sophia well spotted
The Needles, which is carded at 1 1/16 miles on the turf, came up a relatively weak race, with nary a stakes winner among the nine 3-year-olds entered. Statutorial, a distant second last month in the Naked Greed, figures be among the favorites, along with Midnight Cello and trainer Bill White’s duo of Padilla and the undefeated Dysprosium.
The Judy’s Red Shoes came up a little stronger, with Dreaming of Sophia likely to go postward the favorite despite the fact she’s never raced on the turf. Dreaming of Sophia, who cruised to a 6 1/2-length victory over a sloppy track in the Cellars Shiraz overnight stakes on July 13, looked good breezing an easy half-mile over the Gulfstream Park grass course earlier this week.
Swinger’s Party, a distant second in the Cellars Shiraz, is one of two fillies trainer Marty Wolfson entered in the Judy’s Red Shoes, along with recent maiden winner Arriba Anna.
Nicki Starshine, who returned from a long layoff to win the Crystal Rail overnight stakes over a yielding course here on Aug. 3, and New York invader Fab Flowers also figure as key contenders if the Judy’s Red Shoes goes as scheduled on the grass. Dreamlicious could prove an upset threat should the race be switched to the main track.
- 1.Posted 12/11/2013 03:00PM
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