05/17/2012 12:28PM

Calder: Trip for A.J. tries to honor late owner in Sara's Success


MIAMI – The racing world lost one of its greatest sportsmen when Peter Fuller died earlier this week. But his legacy will be carried on Saturday at Calder by Trip for A.J., a Fuller homebred who will be one of the choices in the $55,000 Sara’s Success Stakes.

Trip for A.J., a 5-year-old daughter of Trippi, is a versatile filly who has been equally adept over turf and dirt during a career which has produced 10 victories in 30 starts and earnings of more than $600,000. That versatility should serve her well on Saturday with the status of the Sara’s Success, which is carded at a mile on the grass, up in the air due to heavy rains which have soaked the course this past week.

Milt Wolfson has trained Trip for A.J. throughout her career, although he said he met the late Fuller only once.

“I talked to him a lot on the phone and we became good friends but when he came to Florida during the winter he stayed on the West Coast and never got over here to see his filly run in person,” said Wolfson. “I went over there and visited with him once. He was a great guy and really loved the horses. In fact I think that’s what kept him going the past few years.”

Wolfson said he’s not sure what will happen with Trip for A.J. in light of Fuller’s passing.

“All I know is that his funeral is Saturday and it would be great to win this race in his memory that day,” said Wolfson. “After that I’m not certain what will become of this filly or the rest of his horses.”

Wolfson said Trip for A.J., who finished second behind Romacaca in the 2011 Sara’s Success, is coming into the race in good form.

“She’s doing well and to be honest I hope the race comes off the grass because then we won’t have to face Romacaca again,” said Wolfson. “We’ve never been able to beat that filly. And if the race does come off the grass we’ll probably wind up with just a six- or seven-horse field.”

Romacaca is not only the defending Sara’s Success champ but also returned here last month to easily defeat Trip for A.J. and four other overmatched rivals under allowance conditions going a mile over the local course. She will be odds-on if the Sara’s Success stays on turf but likely to scratch if the race moves to the main track.

One trainer prepared for either alternative is Marty Wolfson. who entered both his turf specialist Speak Easy Gal and main track runner Canadian Mistress for the Sara’s Success. In fact, a change in venue may give him the upper hand with Canadian Mistress likely the one to beat if the race is switched to dirt.

Canadian Mistress began her career with Larry Jones before being purchased privately by Farnsworth Stables LLC and turned over to Wolfson at the end of her 3-year-old campaign. She has captured 1 of 4 starts this season, a high-priced optional claimer switched from turf to dirt this winter at Gulfstream Park, but has had the misfortune of running into division leader Awesome Maria in each of her last two outings when finishing fourth in the Grade 3 Sabin and third in the Rampart after setting the pace in both races.

Speak Easy Gal also does her best on the front end but figures to have lots of company if the Sara’s Success does go as scheduled on the grass with Prize Informant and West Rim likely to provide plenty of early opposition. Speak Easy Gal set or forced the pace in each of her four starts this year that included a third- place finish in the Sunshine Millions Filly and Mare Turf and a fourth in the Grade 3 Suwannee River.