09/01/2011 4:46PM

Calder: Motovato back at home


MIAMI – The leader of the local handicap division, Mambo Meister, will be at Saratoga this weekend to run in the Grade 1 Woodward. His absence will create a golden opportunity for one of the six horses entered in Saturday’s main event at Calder, the $75,000 Darn That Alarm Handicap, to pick up a nice chunk of swag while the big dog is away.

Motovato returns locally after making his last two starts at Monmouth Park. Motovato defeated Mambo Meister and Jackson Bend when he rallied from just off the pace to a one-length triumph in the Memorial Day Handicap here on May 30. That performance earned Motovato two trips to New Jersey, where he finished fourth in a strong field of milers that included Kensei, Soaring Empire and Rule in the Grade 3 Salvator Mile, and fourth again, beaten 1 1/2 lengths by Soaring Empire in the Majestic Light.

Motovato, who has won six times and not finished worse than second in nine starts at Calder, will carry high weight of 122 pounds in the 1 1/16-mile Darn That Alarm, and if he starts the rest are probably running for second money. He is one of two horses trainer Marty Wolfson entered in the race, along with Thank U Philippe (114). The remainder of the field includes Hear Ye Hear Ye (119), Flatter This (119), Star of Sarava (114), and Stimulus Plan (112).

Hear Ye Hear Ye will again prove the one to catch but has failed to duplicate the effort that saw him dominate six rivals from gate to wire in the Sumter Stakes early in the session in three subsequent starts. Hear Ye Hear Ye proved no match for Mambo Meister last month in the Primal Stakes here, falling back steadily after relinquishing the lead to finish more than a dozen lengths behind. Mambo Meister won that race by 11 lengths and earned a 110 Beyer Speed Figure.

Flatter This finally got back on the winning track when rallying to a half-length victory over Tannersville in the Band Is Passing Stakes three weeks ago, a race switched from the turf to a fast main track. The win was the first in eight tries this season for Flatter This, who has raced primarily in the optional claiming and allowance ranks in 2011.

Thank U Philippe has never returned to his top form at 2 and 3 and would be stretching back to 1 1/16 miles for the first time since finishing fifth in the OBS Championship at Ocala more than 18 months ago if he competes in the Darn That Alarm.