08/11/2011 4:08PM

Calder: Tannersville tougher on grass in Band Is Passing


MIAMI − Henry Collazo won’t be the only trainer at Calder hoping the rain will hold off long enough for Saturday’s $55,000 Band Is Passing to be decided as scheduled on the turf. But his interest in the weather will be greater than most, since he will be sending out the heavy favorite, Tannersville.

Tannersville is coming off a game, 2 1/4-length allowance win over the local turf course two weeks ago. That day, he was forced to overcome brief traffic trouble on the turn before rallying strongly up the rail, easily outfinishing Livingston Street and Black Scorpion.

The win was Tannersville’s first in six starts this year and the sixth in 17 lifetime outings; five of those victories have come on grass. Tannersville’s most important win came as a 3-year-old, when he outgamed Bim Bam by a nose to capture the Tropical Park Derby.

“I’d be a much happier person if the race stays on grass,” Collazo said. “I’ll run him either way. He finished fourth in the Mecke behind Mambo Meister earlier this summer, but there are no Mambo Meister’s in this field, so the race would shake out a little differently if it came off the grass.”

Collazo admitted to a few anxious moments when Tannersville had to take up in traffic in his last start.

“I got a little nervous, but luckily, he had enough distance left to regain his stride and enough left in reserve to fire once he did,” Collazo said. “He’s pretty special in that regard.”

Livingston Street will take another shot at Tannersville in the Band Is Passing, which is run at 1 1/16 miles. Livingston Street saved ground while racing in behind Tannersville during their previous meeting and also finished willingly along the inside to be second best. Although he has made 28 of his 34 starts on grass, Livingston Street does own one main-track victory, which came over a wet track.

Hoopla set the pace through midstretch before fading to finish fourth behind Tannersville and Livingston Street in the July 29 allowance, his first start beyond a mile. He should be the controlling speed again Saturday. He appears better suited to turf than dirt but does own one main-track victory.

A switch to dirt, especially a sloppy track, would play into the hands of Numb Lips, an improving and versatile colt who has won each of his last two starts, one on the grass and his latest over a sloppy track July 9.

Trip for A. J., one of the leading members of the distaff handicap division here this summer, tuned up for her next appearance by working a mile in 1:46.20 over a fast but tiring track Thursday morning. Trip for A. J. is coming off a popular eight-length victory in the Ms Brookski, which was switched from the turf to the main track July 30.