11/12/2012 2:47PM

Calder notes: Kaplan dealing with life without Musical Romance

Coady Photography @ Calder Casino & Race Course
Musical Romance earned $1.68 million and sold at Fasig-Tipton for $1.6 million.

MIAMI – Trainer Bill Kaplan left south Florida for Santa Anita two weeks ago with an Eclipse Award winner in his barn. He returned the following week to a $1.6 million empty stall, the price his 2011 Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint winner Musical Romance brought at the Fasig-Tipton November sale.

The 5-year-old Musical Romance ended her brilliant U.S. racing career on a disappointing note by finishing more than a dozen lengths behind Groupie Doll in defense of her Filly and Mare Sprint title. But despite that performance, there is no diminishing what the mare accomplished or meant to Kaplan and his partners both on and off the track over the past two seasons.

An iron horse of sorts, Musical Romance made 41 starts during a career that included not only a Breeders’ Cup triumph but a victory earlier this year over her home course at Calder in the Grade 1 Princess Rooney Handicap.

Overall, Musical Romance banked more than $1.68 million, all for Kaplan and Adam Lazarus’s Pinnacle Racing Stable. The versatile daughter of Concorde’s Tune won a dozen races including two on grass and one, the Grade 2 Presque Isle Downs Masters, over a synthetic surface, while successful at distances ranging from 5 1/2 furlongs to 1 1/16 miles. Not bad for a filly Kaplan originally bought for $22,000 out of the Ocala Breeders’ 2-year-olds in training sale in April of 2009.

Kaplan confirmed that he put a $1.2 million reserve on Musical Romance at last week’s sale. He also said he would not have minded bringing her back home and racing her again next season had the bidding fallen short of that mark.

“I put a reserve on her because she was still totally sound and could have continued to race again,” said Kaplan. “If she wasn’t racing sound, I would have let her go at whatever price she brought.”

Musical Romance was purchased by Katsumi Yoshida’s Northern Farm in Japan as a broodmare prospect, although Kaplan said he was told she might race once more, next winter in Japan, before going to the breeding shed.

“Obviously it will be tough walking by her stall every day after what she accomplished for us,” said Kaplan. “But one thing that made it easier to let her go is the fact I have a good crop of 2- and 3-year-olds to replace her with this year, including Another Romance, who has already accomplished more at this stage of her career than Musical Romance had.”

Another Romance, a 3-year-old daughter of Saint Addan, has also proved to be a bargain purchase by Kaplan, who plucked her out of the 2-year-old sales in Ocala for virtually the same price as Musical Romance, $23,000, in 2011. Another Romance has captured four of her last five starts but has been sidelined since suffering a minor injury after winning the Grade 3 Azalea in early July.

Musical Romance was honored, albeit in absentia, in winner’s circle ceremonies held here between races during Saturday’s Florida Million Day program. So, too, was Trinniberg, who became Calder’s fourth Breeders’ Cup winner in the last three years when he captured the Sprint for owner Sherry Parbhoo and trainer Shivananda Parbhoo the previous weekend at Santa Anita.

My Charmer draws heavyweights

One need only look at the nomination list for the Grade 3 My Charmer Handicap to know that both winter and the 2012-13 Gulfstream Park season are right around the corner. The My Charmer, scheduled to be run at nine furlongs over the turf on Thanksgiving Day, lured two dozen nominations, including four fillies and mares from the barn of trainer Christophe Clement .

Other Northern-based horsemen who nominated to the My Charmer include Roger Attfield, whose Oregon Lady won the race a year ago, Todd Pletcher, Chad Brown, Kelly Breen, Chris Block, Rudy Rodriguez, Angel Penna Jr., and Tom Albertrani.

Angelica Zapata, the leader of the local filly and mare handicap division this season, is also among the nominees for the My Charmer, although she has not started or even registered a recorded workout since dominating the Stage Door Betty Handicap by 7 1/2 lengths over the main track on Sept. 22.

Jockey, trainer races look settled

With less than three weeks left in the meet, there appears to be little question who will take home the hardware as leading jockey and trainer for the Tropical at Calder session.

Defending champion Luis Saez clinched the rider’s crown long ago and holds a commanding 98-63 edge over Hugo Sanchez in quest of his fourth straight local title dating back to the spring of 2010.

Steve Dwoskin appears on the verge of winning his first Tropical training crown, holding a 25-19 win advantage on David Fawkes with only 13 racing dates remaining until closing day on Nov. 30.

Prado to ride at Gulfstream

Jockey Edgar Prado, fresh off his victory aboard Starformer in Saturday’s Grade 3 Long Island Handicap, will return to south Florida for another winter when Gulfstream opens on Dec. 1.

Prado, who also teamed up with fellow Hall of Famer Shug McGaughey to capture the Grade 2 Red Smith Handicap astride Boisterous Nov. 3, will have his local engagements handled for the first time this season by trainer-turned-agent Bob Klesaris.