05/08/2002 11:00PM

Castlebrook returns to favorite racetrack


MIAMI - Castlebrook was the undisputed queen of the local filly handicap division in 2001, winning four stakes at Calder, including the Nancy's Glitter Handicap. But Castlebrook can't rest on those laurels when she takes on five rivals here Saturday in this year's running of the $75,000 Nancy's Glitter, run at 1 1/16 miles.

Castlebrook's form has tailed off since racing on the south Florida circuit switched to Gulfstream Park over the winter. A 5-year-old daughter of Montbrook, Castlebrook has failed to hit the board in each of her four starts this year and is winless since capturing the Noble Royalty Handicap here Sept. 15.

Bill Kaplan, who trains Castlebrook for owners Herb and Ione Elkins, is hoping the return to her home course will put Castlebrook back on the winning track. Castlebrook has won nine times and finished worse than third in just five of her 20 starts at Calder.

Abel Castellano Jr. has the call on Castlebrook for the first time in the Nancy's Glitter.

Coolbythepool, who chased Castlebrook home on numerous occasions last year, including in the Nancy's Glitter, when she finished second, heads the competition. Also in the race are Sara's Success, Bay Street Gal, Sea Mist, and Banderia.

Coolbythepool had a string of second-place stakes finishes snapped when she finally turned the tables on Castlebrook with a 2 1/2-length victory in the Shocker T. Handicap on Oct. 13. She has failed to run back to that form in six subsequent starts, her best effort during that period a second in Tampa Bay Downs's Wayward Lass Stakes.

Sara's Success won three stakes in 2001, with her most notable victory coming in the Calder Oaks on the grass. Although perhaps better suited to the turf, Sara's Success has won three of five starts over the main track, including the Iowa Stakes and Convenience Stakes.

Idle since a poor showing in Gulfstream's Grade 3 Sabin Handicap on Feb. 8, Sara's Success has been training extremely well for her return, including a mile work in 1:41 here on April 30.

"In all my years training here, I've never had a filly work a mile that fast or that well over this track," said trainer Eddie Plesa Jr.

Bay Street Gal could prove to be the controlling speed in the Nancy's Glitter, and is dangerous when loose on the lead. She led all the way in the One Dreamer and Double Dippin Debbie Stakes on the turf.

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