09/29/2011 1:01PM

Calder: Live Every Day looks to back up big Beyer in Cassidy Stakes


MIAMI – The 2011 Tropical at Calder meeting opens Saturday and as one might expect the first of the session’s 45 programs features the track’s most valued commodity, 2-year-olds, with the $100,000 Birdonthewire and Cassidy stakes highlighting the card.

The Tropical meet opens several weeks earlier than usual this year due to the fact that Calder will end its season one month earlier than normal, with closing day set for Dec. 2. The rich Festival of the Sun program, which includes the finales of both divisions of the Florida Stallion Series, will be run for the first time during Tropical and highlights the meet on Oct.15.

The Cassidy for juvenile fillies actually came up the better of the two races Saturday. The six-furlong dash drew a field of eight, led by the undefeated Live Every Dance who scored a sensational 6 1/2-length victory for trainer David Fawkes when launching her career just two weeks earlier. The performance earned the daughter of Lion Heart – a $50,000 purchase at last winter’s Fasig-Tipton sale – an 87 Beyer Speed Figure, which is the highest by any 2-year-old here this year.

Live Every Day won her debut on the front end, but figures to have a much tougher time making the lead with Exclusively Maria among her seven foes in the Cassidy. Exclusively Maria is coming off a third-place finish in the grassy Catcharisingstar Stakes going five furlong on Aug. 27, setting the early pace before bearing out at the top of the stretch and weakening late. Exclusively Maria tuned up for the Cassidy with a very sharp gate workout last weekend.

Montessa G. also figures to be prominent throughout in the Cassidy. Montessa G. debuted with a gate-to-wire victory in June, contested the pace before finishing third in the Desert Vixen to kick off the filly division of the Florida Stallion Stakes, and has not started since tiring to be sixth trying to stretch her speed seven furlongs in the Susan’s Girl on Aug. 27.

Yara and Miss Quisqueya also raced on or near the lead posting well-graded maiden wins in their most recent starts.

A contentious pace could enhance the chances of Slew’s Exchange who rallied from midpack following a slow beginning to win her only previous start going five furlongs. Slew’s Exchange, a Live Oak homebred trained by Eddie Plesa Jr., has been idle since that outing, but has been working regularly for her return since mid-August.

Only six 2-year-old colts were entered for the six-furlong Birdonthewire. The field is led by Hello Prince, who dominated allowance competition by more than four lengths on Sept. 10 following several futile stakes tries, including seventh- and 11th-place finishes in the first two legs of the open division of the Florida Stallion Stakes.

Hello Prince is the only multiple winner in a field that also includes his uncoupled stablemate Angel of Distinction, the undefeated pair of Seattle Ex and Scat Home, Bob’s Place, and Mel Beach. Both Hello Prince and Angel of Distinction are trained by Daniel Pita.