10/18/2004 11:00PM

Filly sweep try highlights festival


MIAMI - Aclassysassylassy's bid to become only the second filly to sweep the Florida Stallion Stakes and the turf debut of the multiple Grade 1 stakes-placed Eddington highlight Saturday's Festival of the Sun at Calder. The 15-race card begins at a special post time of noon.

The Festival of the Sun is Calder's signature event, and the program will offer eight stakes, including the the $400,000 In Reality and My Dear Girl divisions of the Florida Stallion Stakes. The $200,000 Calder Derby and its filly counterpart, the $200,000 Calder Oaks, head an outstanding undercard that also includes the $100,000 Spend a Buck and Shocker T. handicaps for older horses as well as the $75,000 Birdonthewire and Cassidy stakes for 2-year-old sprinters.

will attempt to join Nancy's Glitter as the only filly to win all three divisions in the 23-year history of the Stallion Stakes. A daughter of Wild Event, Aclassysassylassy dominated in the six-furlong Desert Vixen and seven-furlong Susan's Girl divisions, winning by a combined 5 3/4 lengths. But she will be going two turns for the first time in the 1 1/16-mile My Dear Girl.

Aclassysassylassy drew post position 8 in a field of 10 juvenile fillies entered for the My Dear Girl. Trained by David Vivian, she will again be ridden by Manny Aguilar.

Dansetta Light, already a proven commodity going a distance of ground after posting back-to-back victories in the Lindsay Frolic and Brave Raj stakes, may prove a major obstacle to Aclassysassylassy's sweep. Yes It's Gold, who has worked well with the addition of blinkers since her third-place finish in the Susan's Girl, is another major danger, as is Kentucky invader Southern Serenity and Quick Queen.

Southern Serenity will be ridden by Jerry Bailey, who also has mounts in the In Reality, Calder Oaks, Calder Derby, and Shocker T.

Eddington, who began his 2004 campaign in south Florida last winter at Gulfstream Park, will try grass for the first time in the 1 1/8-mile Calder Derby. The race drew a full and competitive field of 12 3-year-olds along with three also-eligibles.

Eddington has held his own with the best of his division since leaving Florida, with his most notable effort a third-place near miss in the Grade 1 Wood Memorial. He was also third in both the Preakness and Travers. Eddington is well bred for the grass, being a son of the graded-stakes-placed mare Fashion Star.

Icy Atlantic, with Bailey aboard, leads the competition, which also includes local division leader Wire Bound. Cool Conductor, a game winner of the Grade 3 Hawthorne Derby last weekend, has also been entered and might wheel right back for trainer Bill Mott in the Calder Derby.

The In Reality, usually the highlight of the Festival of the Sun card, will take a back seat this year to its filly counterpart, the My Dear Girl, but it might be the best betting race on the card.

The In Reality has drawn a field of 14 2-year-old colts and geldings, including four invaders. Cin Cin, who has won his last three starts, including both the Affirmed division of the Stallion Stakes and the mile and 70-yard Foolish Pleasure, figures to be a slight favorite over New York shipper Closing Argument.

Closing Argument scored easy victories in his first two starts but has never raced beyond six furlongs. He drew the rail and will be ridden by four-time Calder jockey champion Cornelio Velasquez.

Recent maiden-breakers Captain Corelli and Anthony J., along with the stakes-placed maiden Alexandersrun, will also ship in for the In Reality. Other key contenders include the Eddie Plesa Jr.-trained pair of Favre and B. B. Best, and the promising Dusty Minister.

The most likely winner and shortest price on the Festival of the Sun card will be Spotlight, who appears a stand out over 11 rivals in the Calder Oaks. Trained by Christophe Clement, Spotlight won Saratoga's Grade 2 Lake Placid Handicap in her U.S. stakes debut and more recently finished second behind QEII winner Ticker Tape in the Grade 3 Pucker Up Handicap. Bailey has the mount.