08/13/2008 11:00PM

Calhoun has new shooter


DEL MAR, Calif. - The main goal of trainer Bret Calhoun here this summer is the Del Mar Oaks, in which Calhoun will run Storm Mesa on Saturday, but Calhoun has a chance to make his Western foray all the sweeter on Friday, when he sends out Dubai Majesty, a recent acquisition, in the $80,000 Sandy Blue Handicap.

Like the Del Mar Oaks, the Sandy Blue is for 3-year-old female turf runners. It drew 10 entrants, including Missit, who also was entered on Wednesday in the Oaks. The Sandy Blue, at one mile, is the seventh race on an eight-race card that begins at 3:30 p.m. Pacific.

Dubai Majesty raced exclusively in Florida until being acquired last week in a private purchase. In her lone grass race, she romped to a seven-length victory in an optional claimer on June 26 at Calder. She followed that up with a second-place finish to the top-class filly Indyanne in the Azalea Stakes on the dirt at Calder's Summit of Speed on July 12.

"The only time she ran two turns and on turf, it was her best race," Calhoun said. "Storm Mesa is by a son of Pulpit, and so is this filly. Storm Mesa took a while to turn the corner. Now, with this filly, her last three races have all been very good races. We think her future looks good.

"She has shown she's versatile - short, long, turf, dirt. The other thing we liked about her is that she still has all her conditions. Even though she's won four times, they were running her for a tag in the optional-claiming races. And she's done really well since she's gotten out here."

Calhoun credited Dubai Majesty's previous trainer, Joe Calascibetta, with keeping her in good condition.

"She was in last Friday at Calder," Calhoun said, while Dubai Majesty was being walked by a hotwalker. "We got the deal done, scratched her, got her out here Saturday night, and breezed her Monday. To look like this coming out of the heat in Florida, with such a nice coat, shows how well Calascibetta took care of her."

Missit, who may opt for the Oaks, most recently finished fourth behind Storm Mesa in the San Clemente Handicap here on July 26. She also was fifth in the American Oaks. The second-place finisher in that race, Satan's Circus, is expected to be favored in the Del Mar Oaks.

Another top contender in the Sandy Blue is Sweeter Still, who finished fourth in the Flawlessly Stakes at Hollywood Park on July 4 after being caught wide around the first turn. She captured the Senorita Stakes at one mile on turf at Hollywood on May 10.