12/27/2005 12:00AM

Eight trainers still can win title


MIAMI - There is still some pretty good racing left before the Tropical at Calder meet ends on Jan. 2, although the best race of them all may be the battle for leading trainer honors.

Only three victories separated eight horsemen for the top spot in the standings at the conclusion of Tuesday's card. Eddie Plesa Jr., who shared the Tropical title in 2002 and won it outright in 2003, broke a four-way logjam for the lead after winning Tuesday's finale with Artillery Exchange for his 15th win of the meet. Larry Pilotti, Henry Collazo, and Bill White remained tied for second with 14 victories.

Defending Tropical champion Dan Hurtak and Tim Ritvo, who edged out Plesa by a single victory to capture the 2005 Calder spring summer title, also gained some ground on Tuesday. Hurtak moved into a tie for fifth with Todd Pletcher after sending out 3-5 favorite Mediterranean Sea to capture the opener for his 13th win of the 55-day meet. Ritvo joined David Braddy with 12 victories apiece following Bond Queen's wire-to-wire victory in a field of high-priced 2-year-old claimers in the eighth race.

Danaslam's speed dangerous in feature

Of the top contenders for leading trainer honors, only Pletcher will be represented in Thursday's $26,000 feature, a 1 1/16-mile turf race for nonwinners of three.

Pletcher sends out Danaslam, a one-length allowance winner in his first local start on Nov. 24. Danaslam could prove the one to catch in an evenly matched field that also includes Minister's Joy, Wallstreet Scandal, Corporate Player, and Saville Row.

Minister's Joy, a former claimer, earned a career-best 90 Beyer Speed Figure for his easy first-level allowance victory here on Dec. 1. Minister's Joy is trained by Shug McGaughey.

Wallstreet Scandal, who competed in the Grade 1 Florida Derby earlier this season, returns to the allowance ranks while making his first start since finishing eighth in the Grade 3 Kent Breeders' Cup on June 25 at Delaware Park.

Wolfson works four for Grand Slam III

Trainer Marty Wolfson sent four of his six nominees for Saturday's Grand Slam III card out to work here Tuesday, including Potra Clasica, the 119-pound co-highweight for the $100,000 Stage Door Betty Handicap.

Potra Clasica worked four furlongs in 49.20 seconds. Her stablemates Preach It and Mocita, also Stage Door Betty candidates, both worked the same distance in 49.60 later in the morning. Menifeeque, Wolfson's Chaposa Springs Handicap hopeful, breezed a slow half-mile in 51 in company with stablemate Can't Beat It.

Potra Clasica shares her 119-pound assignment with the 3-year-old Pitanga and Palaestra in the Stage Door Betty. The trio will concede five pounds to Sweet Lips, the likely favorite if she goes. Sweet Lips gets in under only 114 pounds despite having won the Sunshine Millions Distaff and finishing second in the Grade 2 La Canada Stakes earlier this year.