05/14/2011 4:43PM

Calder: Manicero remains Florida's top 3-year-old sprinter by taking In Summation

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Jim Lisa
Beso Grande, ridden by Luis Jurado, holds off White Merlot by a half-length to earn her first stakes victory in the French Village.

MIAMI -  Manicero solidified his status as the top 3-year-old sprinter in south Florida when he rallied to a three-quarter-length victory over Dual Exhauzt in Saturday’s $75,000 In Summation Stakes at Calder.

Manicero, a son of Mass Media, won for the sixth time in his last seven starts, his lone setback during that period coming in the Grade 2 Hutcheson last winter at Gulfstream Park. Manicero is trained by Leo Azpurua Jr. for his father, Leo Azpurua Sr. and was ridden to victory by Paco Lopez. The In Summation was the fifth stakes win of his career.

Special Song set a fast pace on Saturday but was readily overtaken by Dual Exhauzt nearing the stretch. Manicero, commenced his rally while wide leaving the turn, angled inside the drifting leader at midstretch,  and wore that rival down approaching the wire. Ribo Bobo rallied mildly to finish third.

Manicero ran six furlongs in 1:12.54 over a fast track and paid $2.80. 

“In the Hutcheson,  he got body slammed and was eliminated at the start,” said the younger  Azpurua. “But he came back from that race and set a track record in the race at Tampa,” referring to the Sophomore Stakes.

Azpurua said Manicero would run next in Charles Town’s Red Legend on June 18, then return for the Grade 2 Carry Back here on July 9.

Beso Grande prevails in French Village

The addition of blinkers and turn back in distance proved a potent combination for Beso Grande,  who earned her first stakes victory with a half-length triumph over White Merlot in the $75,000 French Village. Without Love, the 7-5 favorite, finished another 1 1/2 lengths farther back in third.

Beso Grande, like Manicero, was also sired by Mass Media. The French Village was her first start since she was eased to the wire in the Grade 2 Gulfstream Park Oaks on April 2. With jockey Luis Jurado aboard, Beso Grande was forwardly placed throughout, overtook White Merlot leaving the eighth pole, and edged away. White Merlot  set a contested pace and held  gamely.

Beso Grande completed six furlongs in 1:12.57 and paid $19.20.

“I don’t know what happened last time,” DiMauro said by phone from Monmouth Park referring to the Gulfstream Oaks. “The rider said he had no horse at the three eighths pole so he just sat on her the rest of the way. Perhaps it was a combination of the distance and tough competition but she came out of the race fine. I couldn’t find anything wrong with her."

DiMauro said jockey Jose Lezcano told him Beso Grande had been intimidated racing along the rail when winning an allowance race in her previous start, which is why he decided to add blinkers for the French Village.

“I couldn’t put them on her for the Oaks because she was coming off a win,” DiMauro explained. “Calder is kind enough to run three sprints for 3-year-old fillies in succession so we’ll go in the next one on June 11 and hopefully use it as a prep for the Azalea four weeks later.”