08/17/2007 12:00AM

Conditions fit Kristali perfectly

Email

MIAMI - Kristali is coming off an easy victory in the King George's Wrong Way Stakes. But because the King George's Wrong Way was decided under starter allowance conditions, the 5-year-old remains eligible for Sunday's $32,000 main event at Calder, a first-level optional claimer at a mile.

Sunday's feature is written for horses which have not won a race other than maiden, claiming, or starter, and as a result trainer Marty Wolfson appears to have found another good spot for Kristali to add to a resume that already includes 3 wins and 2 stakes placings in 2007. Wolfson was also able to secure the services of leading rider Elvis Trujillo to replace Jermaine Bridgmohan aboard Kristali. Bridgmohan had moved his tack to Monmouth Park several days prior to the King George's Wrong Way Stakes, but flew home to honor his commitment aboard Kristali in the 10-furlong race, which was moved from the turf to the main track due to heavy showers.

Trujillo had been the regular rider for the horse who may prove Kristali's main rival on Sunday, the improving Rather Clever. One of only two 3-year-olds in the field, Rather Clever was beaten a neck in a roughly run first-level allowance race over a good track on July 28. A son of Montbrook from the barn of the meet's leading trainer, Kirk Ziadie, Rather Clever was coming off a fifth-place finish in the Grade 2 Carry Back Stakes three weeks earlier.

Apprentice David Cardoso will replace Trujillo aboard Rather Clever, who gets a 13-pound break in the weights from the older Kristali under the conditions of the race.

Other key contenders include Drop Shot, who has won 2 of his last 4 starts; the speedy Golden Flame; and Olympic, who will race uncoupled in the wagering with stablemate Kristali.

Trujillo and Ziadie top standings

Trujillo began Friday's action with a 97-87 lead over defending champion Manoel Cruz in the race for leading rider. Eduardo Nunez, Cardoso, and Manny Aguilar round out the top five.

Ziadie held a commanding 37-26 advantage over perennial leader Bill White in the race for the trainer title. They are followed by Eddie Plesa Jr., who has his stable split between Calder and Monmouth Park this summer, and Kathleen O'Connell and Wolfson.

Trujillo and Ziadie added to their leading totals in Friday's third race when they won the five-furlong turf dash with Not Acclaim ($5.40).

Five-day weeks return Monday

Racing will return to the regular five-day-a-week live schedule beginning Monday, following a month of abbreviated three-day weeks. The five-day format will continue through the end of the session on Oct. 14.

Stakes racing will not resume here until Sept. 1, Juvenile Showcase Day, which features six 2-year-old stakes topped by the middle legs of the Florida Stallion series, the $150,000 Affirmed and Susan's Girl stakes. Both will be run at seven furlongs.