10/14/2004 12:00AM

Eddington biggest name for derby


MIAMI - The $400,000 In Reality and My Dear Girl divisions of the Florida Stallion Stakes may be the richest races on the Oct. 23 Festival of the Sun program. But for sheer star power, the $200,000 Calder Derby and its filly counterpart, the $200,000 Calder Oaks, will be the best of the eight stakes races on the card.

Among the marquee names pointing for the Grade 3 Calder Derby is Eddington, who was headquartered in south Florida with trainer Mark Hennig's stable earlier this year and now will return to make his turf debut.

Eddington has held his own against the elite of the nation's 3-year-old division this season, having finished third in the Wood Memorial, Preakness, Travers, and Jim Dandy and fourth in the Belmont. Hennig has always thought about trying Eddington on the turf because of his breeding, as he is a son of the mare Fashion Star, who was graded stakes placed. Eddington worked a half-mile in 49.15 seconds over the Belmont turf course on Oct. 10.

Hennig is not the only New York-based trainer with nominees to the 1 1/8-mile Calder Derby. Bill Mott (Cool Conductor), Bobby Frankel (Dealer's Choice), Kiaran McLaughlin (Ecclesiastic, Mustanfar), and Todd Pletcher (Forest Grove, Icy Atlantic) have all nominated 3-year-olds to the race. Mott won the 2003 Calder Derby with Stroll.

New York invaders may also hold the upper hand in the Oaks, with trainer Christophe Clement having earmarked the race for Spotlight. Spotlight captured Saratoga's Grade 2 Lake Placid Handicap in her U.S. stakes debut, and more recently finished a wide-running second behind Ticker Tape in Arlington Park's Grade 3 Pucker Up Stakes. Clement won the 2000 Oaks with Lucky Lune.

Hennig, Pletcher, McLaughlin, and Frankel also have fillies nominated to the Oaks.

Three more shippers for In Reality

The racing office has added the names of Alexsandersrun, Palacios Appeal, and Anthony J. to the list of likely ship-ins for the In Reality. McLaughlin's undefeated Closing Argument is already a confirmed starter for the finale of the open division of the Florida Stallion Stakes.

Swift Replica returns to grass

Saturday's feature will be an open allowance race on the turf, with a highly competitive group of grass specialists signed on to go five furlongs.

Swift Replica, who has been running in stakes company on the main track, returns to the grass for the first time since being outgamed by local course record holder Whenthedove-flies in the Calder Turf Sprint Handicap on July 10. A 5-year-old son of Struggler, Swift Replica was a half-length winner over Sam's Concorde in the 2003 Linear Stakes in his only previous start at this distance on grass.

Sam's Concorde will be among the early pacesetters and should prove to be Swift Replica's main competition on Saturday. Stretch-running Gin Rummy Champ, who defeated fellow 3-year-olds in the five-furlong Naked Greed Stakes this summer, may prove the major beneficiary if the pace gets a bit too hot.

- additional reporting by David Grening