05/24/2009 11:00PM

Finallymadeit needs serious rebound


MIAMI - Handicappers trying to figure out why Finallymadeit finished ninth, beaten 32 lengths in last month's Sumter overnight stakes, have good company in that department. Finallymadeit's trainer, Javier Negrete, is still looking for the answer to that question himself.

On Monday, Finallymadeit will try to bounce all the way back from one of the worst defeats of his career when he starts as the 121-pound highweight in the $100,000 Memorial Day Handicap. The Grade 3 event drew a field of only six older horses, and also includes Motovato, Dream Maestro, and Hey Byrn, the first three finishers in the Sumter.

Finallymadeit has been somewhat of a Cinderella story for Negrete and owner Rolando Rodriguez over the past 12 months. After nearly running himself into retirement following three subpar sprint efforts in the spring of 2008, Finallymadeit stretched out around two turns to finish second in the Sumter and win the Memorial Day, which was run as an overnight stakes last year. He closed out the year winning the Grade 3 Fred Hooper Handicap and built on that success this season at Gulfstream Park, where he captured the Grade 3 Skip Away and finished second in the Grade 1 Donn Handicap.

"He didn't get a good trip in his last start, but other than that I couldn't find any excuse," Negrete said when asked about Finallymadeit's performance in the Sumter. "He always seems to rebound when he runs bad, and if the track is wet I almost guarantee he's going to win. I'm hoping for more rain."

Finallymadeit was hung wide early and never saw the lead in the Sumter, and his chief rival for the front end on Monday appears to be Motovato, who forced the pace before outlasting Dream Maestro by three-quarters of a length to win Sumter, the first stakes win of his career. Motovato will carry 118 pounds in the Memorial Day, three fewer than Finallymadeit and one less than Dream Maestro.

The stretch-running Dream Maestro continues to hold his form extremely well for trainer Bill Kaplan. Second behind Finallymadeit in a pair of stakes, including the Hooper here last fall, Dream Maestro entered the Sumter off a second- level optional claiming win going nine furlongs in his Gulfstream finale.