05/26/2006 11:00PM

'Fotis' ready for a mile


MIAMI - Twilight Road is back to defend his title in Monday's $100,000 Memorial Day Handicap at Calder. Last year's runner-up, Whos Crying Now, returns as well. The multiple Grade 1-placed Congrats will make his local debut in the Grade 3 race, while the versatile Gigawatt returns to the main track off his recent win on turf in the Miami Mile Breeders' Cup.

But the one they may all have to catch in the 1 1/16-mile Memorial Day Handicap is Mister Fotis.

Mister Fotis ascended to the top of the local sprint division after posting a 6 3/4-length victory in the Kenny Noe Jr. Handicap here late last fall and winning Gulfstream Park's Grade 2 Richter Scale Breeders' Cup Handicap in early March. But trainer Marty Wolfson has no doubt Mister Fotis will handle two turns, even though he's won just 1 of 6 starts beyond a mile.

"We did throat surgery on him after he ran so poorly going a route of ground here last fall," Wolfson said, referring to Mister Fotis's 42-length defeat at the hands of Whos Crying Now in the Ambehaving Stakes. "And I knew it worked right away. I have no doubt he can go a distance of ground now that he can breathe."

Twilight Road outgamed Whos Crying Now by three-quarters of a length to win the Memorial Day as an 8-year-old in 2005. A son of Cahill Road, Twilight Road has started just three times since and will attempt to defend his title off a much-needed fifth-place finish in the Miami Mile.

Whos Crying Now has turned into one of the more consistent members of the division. A two-time stakes winner last season, Whos Crying Now is winless in four starts this year, but did finish second behind Lava Man in the Sunshine Millions Classic and fourth in the Grade 2 Gulfstream Park Breeders' Cup Handicap.

Congrats is winless since dominating the Grade 2 San Pasqual Handicap over a sloppy track in January 2005. He was second in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Handicap and third in the Grade 1 Hollywood Gold Cup later in that season. Purchased privately by Cloverleaf Farm and turned over to trainer Kathleen O'Connell this spring, his immediate goal is to get over the $1 million mark in career earnings. Congrats enters the Memorial Day with a bankroll of $978,000.

Gigawatt outgamed Spring House and Old Forester to win the Grade 3 Miami Mile at odds of 29-1 under jockey Chantal Sutherland, and the pair will reunite in an attempt to transfer that form back to the main track on Monday.