10/06/2012 5:54PM

Calder: Musical Romance wins her Breeders' Cup prep

Coady Photography @ Calder Casino & Race Course
Musical Romance, with Juan Leyva aboard, wins the Mike Sherman.

MIAMI - Musical Romance will be on her way to Santa Anita to defend her title in the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint after rallying to a popular three-quarter-length decision over pacesetter Golden Mystery in Saturday's $55,000 Mike Sherman Memorial Stakes at Calder.

Musical Romance's final margin of victory was deceptive, as jockey Juan Leyva hit her only once, near the eighth pole, before she easily wore down Golden Mystery in the final sixteenth of the  6 1/2-furlong Mike Sherman. It was another 5 3/4 lengths further back to Nakano, who helped the winner's cause by bearing out entering the stretch to allow her plenty of clearance to tip off the rail while launching her winning  bid.

Four of the 10 fillies and mares originally entered in the Mike Sherman were scratched, including Spectacular Sky, who was expected to give the reigning Eclipse Award winner Musical Romance her stiffest test if she ran.

Musical Romance, a 5-year-old daughter of Concorde's Tune, and paid $3.20.

"She ran great, just perfect, sets me up real good, saves me a bunch of works for the Breeders' Cup," said trainer Bill Kaplan. "I told Juan not to use the stick, and he rode her perfect, he just showed it to her once or twice. I wasn't concerned if we won or lost today. Our whole purpose was to set her up as best we could for the Breeders' Cup, we were not going to empty any tank here today, but she is such a class filly he didn't have to do much to get her to win."

Kaplan said Musical Romance will likely leave for California about two weeks in advance of the Breeders' Cup.

Dual Exhauzt best in Kenny Noe

Musical Romance's final time of 1:17.13 was .18 of a second faster than Dual Exhauzt covered the same distance en route to his 1 1/4-length decision over Black Diamond Cat in the $75,000 Kenny Noe Jr. Handicap about 30 minutes later.

Dual Exhauzt led throughout under jockey Jesus Rio to register the first stakes win of his career.  Black Diamond Cat chased the 3-5 favorite throughout and held off Close It Out by a neck to finish third.

The Kenny Noe scratched down to just four starters after training Marty Wolfson withdrew the two morning-line favorites for the race, Indiano and Spectcular Sky, earlier in the day.

Dual Exhauzt, a son of Alke, is trained by Bill White for the GZS Stable LLC.  He paid $3.20.