05/26/2008 11:00PM

Finallymadeit in holiday romp

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MIAMI - Finallymadeit is unquestionably better going one turn than around two. But under the right circumstances, like Monday's Memorial Day Handicap, this hard-knocking son of Concerto can carry his abundant speed a distance of ground.

Finallymadeit registered a relatively easy 3 1/4-length victory over Rehoboth and four other overmatched rivals in the 1 1/16-mile Memorial Day. The race's purse was reduced from $100,000 to $36,000 because of the ongoing horsemen's dispute with track management over account-wagering revenue, and field size was reduced from nine starters to only six following a trio of late scratches.

Both factors helped Finally-madeit's cause.

The purse reduction eliminating the multiple Grade 1 placed Gottcha Gold from consideration for the race, and the late scratches took out Finallymadeit's chief rival, D'artagnans'spirit, who will compete instead in Friday's main event at six furlongs. D'artagnans'spirit had finished just a neck behind Finallymadeit in the 6 1/2-furlong Radar Love stakes here last fall and was to have received a five-pound weight concession in the rematch.

After that, it was simply a matter of Finallymadeit being able to control the pace over what had been a speed-favoring course throughout the Memorial Day program. Jockey Eduardo Nunez orchestrated that task to perfection, getting Finallymadeit clear on the lead and over to the rail entering the clubhouse turn.

After posting modest early fractions of 24.18 seconds, 48.45, and 1:13.13, Finallymadeit, the 6-5 favorite, had little trouble drawing away from his early pursuers and withstood a mild run from Rehoboth despite failing to switch his leads through the stretch.

"He'll do anything on dirt - sprint or go a distance," said trainer Javier Negrete, who has managed Finallymadeit's career so astutely for the Rolbea Thoroughbred Racing Stable. "He loves to train and race and tells us when he's ready to run."

The Memorial Day was Finallymadeit's 10th victory in 27 starts, seven of those wins coming in stakes, and pushed his career earnings to $419,450.

Negrete said Finallymadeit will now turn back to six furlongs for the Ponche Handicap on June 14 as a prep for the Grade 2, $400,000 Smile Sprint, to be decided at the same distance, four weeks later.

Two quick hits for Almost True

Almost True had won just one race in 21 months and none since June of 2007 entering a $6,250 claiming race here last Friday. Then she went out and captured two races over the next 72 hours, following Friday's 10 3/4-length victory with a 1 3/4-length decision against $8,000 platers on Memorial Day.

Trainer Pablo Andrade, who claimed Almost True for $10,000 on April 10 at Gulfstream Park, had to move quickly following Friday's easy win just to get his suddenly red-hot mare back in the entries for Monday's races.

"We were hustling entries all day Friday for Monday's card, and I guess Pablo must have run right from the winner's circle over to the racing office and put her in just before we closed and drew Monday's program," said Calder's racing secretary, Mike Anifantis.

Almost True was guided to both victories by jockey Javier Santiago, who also rode three winners on Sunday's program, including Eclisse for trainer Marty Wolfson in the Sara's Success Stakes.

Lopez expected back

Paco Lopez, the meet's second-leading jockey and the top apprentice here this spring, was expected to resume riding on Thursday after escaping a frightening spill without serious injury on Sunday.

Lopez was aboard the 6-5 Trey, who clipped heels, stumbled, and tossed her rider to the track as the large field approached the quarter pole in Sunday's fourth race. Jockey David Boraco also went down in attempting to avoid the fallen rider with his mount, Fast Claim Deed.

Lopez was transported to nearby Hollywood Memorial Hospital, where X-rays revealed no fractures.

"He got stepped on and is pretty sore," said Lopez's agent, Cory Moran. "They X-rayed him from head to toe, and everything's fine. With two dark days he should be ready to go on Thursday."

Boraco also escaped without injury, as did both Trey and Fast Claim Deed.

Lopez took off all nine of his mounts on Monday, including the undefeated Sweetsouthernqueen, who won her third race in as many starts for trainer Vinnie Blengs.

* Jockey Pedro Monterrey Jr. got the holiday off to a fast start, booting home both ends of Monday's $134.40 daily double. Monterrey began the day riding first-time starter South Ocean Drive to an easy victory for trainer John Shaw, then completed the early double aboard the 13-1 Rainbow Cruise for trainer Louisa Acuna in the second race. The win was the first this season for Acuna.