07/04/2013 3:27PM

Calder: R Free Roll facing males again in Carry Back

Coady Photography
R Free Roll dominated males in the Unbridled Stakes on June 8.

MIAMI – The collective sigh of relief heard when entries were drawn for Saturday’s Summit of Speed card came from the connections of the nine fillies in the Grade 3 Azalea Stakes, once they learned trainer Ralph Ziadie had opted to keep the leader of the local division, R Free Roll, against males in the Grade 3 Carry Back.

Running against colts and geldings is nothing new for R Free Roll, who dominated males by 6 3/4 lengths in the Unbridled Stakes on June 8. She also captured her first-level allowance condition against males at 2.

R Free Roll will face just six other 3-year-olds in the Carry Back, which like the Azalea carries a $150,000 purse and will be decided at six furlongs. Her main competition figures to come from Kentucky invader Mico Margarita, one of four horses trainer Steve Asmussen shipped to south Florida for the Summit of Speed.

Rockyshomerun, City of Weston, and Sr. Quisqueyano – second, third, and fourth, respectively, behind R Free Roll in the Unbridled – along with recent winners Red Rocket Express and Gotta Be Fate complete the compact lineup.

R Free Roll is a daughter of Rockport Harbor owned in partnership by Averill Racing LLC and Silver Oak Stable. She received a career-best 101 Beyer Speed Figure for her performance in the Unbridled, which was decided over a speed-favoring course.

“Running back against the boys was a pretty easy decision, because she beat most of this field pretty easily last month, and it looks like it might be an easier spot than the Azalea,” Ziadie said. “She also gets a weight concession from the colts, which is helpful because she’s not a very big filly.”

R Free Roll will carry 112 pounds including jockey Antonio Gallardo in the Carry Back, receiving a 3- to 7-pound concession from her six rivals.

“She came out of her last race real well, and drawing the rail Saturday is not a concern because she’s a good, quiet, and very professional filly who seems to do everything right,” Ziadie said. “I don’t expect her to run as big a number as last time, but I expect her to run a decent race, and hopefully that will be good enough to win.”

Mico Margarita ships in off a career-best triumph of his own, a game neck decision over older horses going 6 1/2 furlongs under first-level allowance conditions at Churchill Downs on June 14. Mico Margarita showed improved speed while wearing blinkers for the second time in his Kentucky finale.

City of Weston did well to finish third in the Unbridled after racing wide and against the grain of the track bias. An improving son of Holy Bull, he won a pair of stakes races, one at Calder and the second at Tampa Bay Downs, earlier this spring.

With R Free Roll defecting to the Carry Back, the six-furlong Azalea looms a wide-open contest, with Wildcat Lily likely to be a slight favorite off her impressive four-length triumph in the Leave Me Alone Stakes here June 8.

Dreaming of Susie, who outgamed Wildcat Lily when the pair met under allowance conditions in their previous meeting, is one of several key contenders, along with, Guadalupe High, Street Girl, Twice Told Tale, and the Assmussen-trained Speedinthruthecity.

Wildcat Lily earned a career-high 90 Beyer with her bias-aided win in the Leave Me Alone, the traditional prep for the Azalea. She will be joined in the gate Saturday by her stablemate from the barn of trainer Manny Azpurua, Street Girl, who rallied to finish third in the Leave Me Alone.

“Both fillies are training well, and I expect a good race out of both of them,” Azpurua said. “My main concern is that I just moved my stable from Calder to Gulfstream this week and I don’t know how they’ll be affected by the change or by having to ship over for the race.”

Dreaming of Susie, who is trained by Kirk Ziadie, skipped the Leave Me Alone after hanging on for a three-quarter-length decision over Wildcat Lily on May 26.

“I had two other fillies for the Leave Me Alone and wanted to freshen Susie up a little, because she ran back pretty quickly last time,” Kirk Ziadie said. “The outside post should be perfect for her, she’s doing excellent, and I think she deserves a chance in a graded stakes.”

Speedinthruthecity brings a two-race win streak into the Azalea, with both those victories coming against allowance company going seven furlongs at Churchill Downs.

Regally Ready heads Umphrey Turf Sprint

Regally Ready, winner of the 2011 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint for Asmussen, tops a full and very competitive field in the $100,000 Bob Umphrey Turf Sprint carded at five furlongs on the grass. He will meet a strong contingent of locals led by the speedy Determinato, Artefacto, Silver Cloud, and Madame Giry, the lone filly in the lineup.

◗ Multiple stakes winners and familiar rivals Frolic’s Revenge and Awesome Belle will likely vie for favoritism along with Angelica Zapata in the afternoon’s finale, the $100,000 Hollywood Wildcat for older fillies and mares slated to be run at 7 1/2 furlongs on the turf.