10/15/2011 5:48PM

Calder: Mad Flatter outruns Mambo Meister again in Spend a Buck

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Jim Lisa
Mad Flatter wins the Grade 3 Spend a Buck for the second straight year.

MIAMI.-  It’s a new year but it was the same result in the Grade 3 Spend a Buck as Mad Flatter returned to Calder on Saturday to successfully defend the title he won last fall, doing so once again at the direct expense of the odds-on Mambo Meister.

As was the case a year ago, Mad Flatter rated just off the early pace under jockey Jon Court. This time, however, Court and Mad Flatter waited a little longer before making their move, eventually overtaking early leader Rock Alex on the far turn. Mad Flatter settled into the stretch with a comfortable advantage and despite tiring some near the end safely remained a length clear of the 1-2 Mambo Meister at the wire.  Mad Flatter dominated the 2010 Spend a Buck, which last year was designated as a Win and You’re In race for the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile, by better than six lengths.

Mad Flatter, a 6-year-old son of Flatter, is trained by Jeffrey Thornburg for the partnership of Bonnie Heath Farms, Holiday Stable, and Hinkle Farms. He completed a1 1/16 miles in 1:46.07 over a fast track and paid $7.40.

“Jeff and I discussed it and we thought the race would set up the same way as last year,” said Court.  “I let him stay right off the pace and when I asked him he just went and I just tried to stay out of his way. He was on his game today and when he’s on his game he’ll run his heart out over any surface, but I guess he really likes this track.”

Phil Gleaves, who trains Mambo Meister  said “I couldn’t see any excuses for our horse today.”

Oligarch upsets Tropical Park Derby

Oligarch got away with a slow pace over a yielding course, then withstood a late charge by Star of Sarava to register a head victory in the $75,000 Tropical Park Derby. Manciero, the even-money favorite, was fourth.

Oligarch set fractions of 24.96 seconds, 51.24, and 1:16.66 for the opening six furlongs of the 1 1/8-mile Tropical Park Derby, held a clear advantage leaving the furlong grounds, and  then was all out to withstand Star of Sarava. Star of Sarava raced well-placed while saving ground, eased out for the drive, but wasn’t good enough. Bringbackthemagic finished third.

Oligarch completed the distance in 1:53.64 under jockey Daniel Centeno and returned $18.80.

“This didn’t surprise me at all,” said Rodolfo Garcia, who trains Oligarch for the Caroni Stables. “I felt very confident going into this race.  Going a mile and an eighth with a horse that likes to go to the lead, you can set an easier pace.  When I saw 51 and one [for the half-mile], even over the yielding course, I knew we were in business today.” 

Louvakhova wins Genter in U.S. debut

Louvakhova asserted her class edge over the best of the local 3-year-old turf fillies, making her U.S. debut a winning one when cruising to a 4 1/4-length victory over the favored Callmethesqueeze in the $69,000 Frances Genter Stakes.

Louvakhova ($5.40), a Kentucky bred daughter of Maria’s Mon, had made all six of her previous starts in France. Owned by Michel Jean Zerolo, she was turned over to trainer Marty Wolfson shortly after finishing second for the fourth consecutive time in a stakes at Longchamp on Sept. 17.  

Louvakhova sat a perfect trip under jockey Luis Saez, tracking the pace of longshot Prize Informant while saving ground for more than six furlongs before tipping out near the quarter pole and readily overtaking the leader at the top of the stretch. Louvakhova then steadily increased her advantage despite drifting out past the middle of the racetrack through the final furlong.

Callmethesqueez rallied from the rear of the pack to finish a head in front of the tiring Prize Informant while suffering her first loss in four starts on grass.

Final time for the mile over a yielding turf course was 1:38.31.

“She had no trouble acclimating,” said Wolfson. “She only got here two weeks ago, but pretty soon after I thought she’d win this race. We’ll probably have to ship around for her next spot.”