04/27/2006 11:00PM

Calder stakes preview for April 29


Race 8
6 Furlongs
The Ponche Handicap
Three Year Olds and upward
Purse $100,000.

Park Avenue Ball is a multiple graded stakes winner, and was third in last year's Haskell so he is certainly the high-profile horse in the race. He hasn't raced since October, however, and one can argue that he might be a tad short for his 2006 debut. He has won sprinting in the past, but has made the majority of his money going long, and the Ponche has the looks of a prep run.

Universal Form shocked the Gulfstream crowd with his 53-1 upset of the Grade 3 Deputy Minister on February 5, and then validated that effort with a fast-closing third in the Grade 2 Richter Scale on March 4. The late-running sprinter may want to go a bit longer than 6 furlongs, but he returns to his favorite track on Saturday, and should get plenty of pace to attack.

Nightmare Affair is capable of triple-digit Beyers on his best day, and he rolled to a nice victory in a Tampa Bay stakes race in his last start. The late-running gray won this race last year off a similar pattern, and looms a strong contender.

Kaufy Machine makes the third start of the form cycle, and has good early speed. He may have to deal with Lucky Frolic in the early stages, however.

1. Universal Form
2. Nightmare Affair
3. Kaufy Machine

Race 9
1 Mile (Turf)
The Miami Mile Breeders' Cup Handicap (Grade 3)
Three Year olds and upward
Purse $150,000.

Icy Atlantic hasn't won a race since the 2004 Jersey Derby, but he finally may have found a field that he can handle in the Miami Mile. Trained by Todd Pletcher, Icy Atlantic earned a triple-digit Beyer Speed Figure in his most recent race at Tampa Bay Downs. He did sit a good trip that day saving ground, but wasn't able to run down the heavily favored Silver Tree. He drew a good inside post for Saturday's race, and may end up with a nice ground-saving, pace-tracking trip.

Keep Cool will offer lots of value. A stakes-winner over this course, Keep Cool has good early speed, and may find a nice forward position going into the first turn. He's run some big numbers in the past, and is certainly usable in this spot.

Woodlander was a solid winner of his recent 'n3x' condition at Gulfstream, but the race came back a bit slow, and he may be prone to a 'bounce' following that career-best effort. His stalking speed should have him in a nice spot in the second flight.

Defending champion Twilight Road attempts to follow the same sprint to route, dirt to turf pattern that resulted in his 2005 victory.

Old Forester has back class, and he won a restricted stakes over this course in 2004. Trained by Bill Mott, his tactical style suits the race, and he figures to be well backed at the mutuel windows.

T. D. Vance ran some bang-up races as a 3-year-old last season, but draws the far outside post, and hasn't raced since November. He may need a race.

1. Icy Atlantic
2. Keep Cool
3. Woodlander

Race 10
1 1/16 Miles
The Unbridled
Three Year Olds
Purse $100,000.

Saint Augustus benefited from a speed-favoring surface to defeat Withers entrant Doc Cheney two starts back, then was overmatched versus Barbaro and company in the Florida Derby. He draws an ideal inside post for the Unbridled, and he showed his affinity for the Calder surface with a win in the What a Pleasure here in December. There's lots of speed for him to track, and he should appreciate Saturday's class relief.

Winnies Tigger Too may be the speed of the speed. He will attempt the turf to dirt pattern that resulted in his third-place finish behind Kentucky Derby hopefuls Deputy Glitters and Bluegrass Cat in the Tampa Bay Derby, and he could get brave if allowed an easy lead. He should offer wagering value, and has successfully stretched his speed at this distance on the grass.

He's a Lumberjack raced wide in his first start of the year, but that race should tighten him up nicely for the Unbridled. He stretches out with improving Beyers on his page, has good tactical speed, and has been working well for Tim Ritvo. Stakes-placed over this track at 2, He's a Lumberjack is another that may offer a nice price.

Rehoboth was only beaten 1 3/4 lengths in the Fountain of Youth, but that race was painfully slow, and he didn't pick up his feet in the Florida Derby. All 3 of his wins have come in sprint races.

Bushmills Best is riding a 3 race winning streak for high-percentage trainer Kirk Ziadie, but he'll get the toughest test of his career on Saturday.

1. Saint Augustus
2. Winnies Tigger Too
3. He's a Lumberjack.

Race 11
1 1/16 Miles (Turf)
The Hollywood Wildcat Breeders' Cup Handicap
Fillies and mares
Purse $150,000.

My Lordship has reeled off 3 straight wins at this distance, and she has the tactical speed to stalk a solid pace in the Hollywood Wildcat. She goes out for high profile, high-percentage connections, and seems to be working well for her return from a short layoff. A repeat of that 100 Beyer from her last race would certainly do the trick.

Bright Abundance looks like My Lordship's main challenger. The Grade 3 winner hasn't raced since early November following a disastrous trip to Southern California, but trainer Christophe Clement excels with layoff runners. Bright Abundance draws a good post position for this 2-turn test, and this distance suits her perfectly. She may need one off the layoff, but has quality.

Formal Miss hasn't won since 2004, but she chased the quick Pommes Frites last time out, and has the back class to threaten these over her favorite surface. A steady performer from a Beyer perspective, Formal Miss may park herself just off of probable pacesetter R Lady Joy in the hope of gaining first run on the final turn.

Go Robin seems to be returning to her best form with 2 straight victories on her page. She'll get a class test stepping up from the allowance ranks.

Potra Clasica will likely add to the pace while Pattiano should be rallying late.

1. My Lordship
2. Bright Abundance
3. Formal Miss