05/24/2010 11:00PM

Gleaves looking to expand stable


MIAMI - When trainer Phil Gleaves originally made the decision that his son Schuyler would be the first priority in his life, he knew the consequences that choice could have on his business. But now that Schuyler has turned 10, Gleaves has started thinking about possibly expanding his stable once again. The stable is led by Mambo Meister, who will attempt to complete a sweep of the first two graded stakes of the meeting when he starts as the highweight and favorite in Monday's $100,000

Memorial Day Handicap.

Mambo Meister was assigned top weight of 121 pounds for the 1 1/16-mile Memorial Day and heads a list of just nine horses nominated for the Grade 3 event. The group also includes the Bill Kaplan-trained duo of Dream

Maestro and Imawildandcrazyguy, along with a pair from the barn of trainer Marty Wolfson, Causeway's Kin and Stones River.

Mambo Meister returned from a nine-week layoff to capture the Grade 3 Miami Mile Handicap over the turf here on opening day. He blew out for his return to the main track in the Memorial Day shortly after the renovation break on Tuesday morning, working an easy half-mile in 49.60 seconds.

"It was just an easy maintenance move. It's what I do with him all the time right before a race," said Gleaves. "He went the last quarter in 24. I couldn't be happier with the way he's doing right now."

Gleaves said the 121-pound assignment for

Mambo Meister on Monday is of little


"I'm really a not a fanatic when it comes to weights," said Gleaves. "At least I don't believe it matters as much as some handicappers might think. It's certainly not like he hasn't carried 121 or more in the past."

Gleaves, 52, is no stranger to the big time. He made a big first impression when he sent out Wise Times to capture both the Travers and Haskell Invitational in 1986 during the first full year out on his own after having served as an exercise rider and assistant to Woody Stephens for the previous eight years. Gleaves won a career-best 64 races the following season and was a fixture on the New York and south Florida circuits before making the decision to base year-round at Calder to raise his son.

Gleaves, a native of Liverpool, England, who registered his 500th career win with Arctic Eva earlier in the meet, has 15 horses bedded down locally. But with Schuyler getting older, Gleaves said the time has come to start looking for some new owners to expand his stable in the near future.

"I'll stay down here for the next three years, until Schuyler finishes middle school, and I'd like to begin expanding my stable in conjunction with what will hopefully be bigger purses with the casino now in operation at Calder," said Gleaves. "But I am also willing to go on the road if the situation arises, as was the case last summer with Mambo Meister. Obviously it hasn't been easy running my business and trying to raise my son at the same time. But it's a decision I don't regret for one second."

Wolfson bunch get in works

Marty Wolfson had a number of his stakes horses out to work on Tuesday, including

Jessica Is Back, who will be favored to win Saturday's $55,000 Take D' Tour Stakes, if she starts. Jessica Is Back, one of three fillies

Wolfson entered in the overnight feature, breezed a sharp half-mile in 48.20 before the renovation break.

Jessica Is Back was joined on Tuesday's tab by stablemates You and I Forever (four furlongs in 51 seconds) and Jet Propulsion (four furlongs from the gate in 49.89 seconds). You and I Forever is pointing for the Grade 1

Metropolitan Handicap at Belmont Park on Memorial Day. Jet Propulsion, who could make his next start in the Grade 1 Manhattan on the Belmont Stakes undercard, continues his schooling at the starting gate. It was his third work from the gate since finishing off the board following a slow start in the Miami Mile.

Big Drama turned in one of the best gate works witnessed here in recent memory, going five furlongs in 1:00.78 on Sunday. Big

Drama, who posted fractions of 23.56, 34.64, and 47.80 seconds along the way, could make his much-anticipated 2010 debut in the six-

furlong Ponche Handicap on June 12.

Warren, Collazo match feats

Trainers Fred Warren and Henry Collazo both posted hat tricks here last week.

Warren combined with jockey Daniel Coa to win three races on Friday's card, with Collazo duplicating the feat the following afternoon. Two of Collazo's three winners were ridden by Luis Jurado, who also captured three races on Saturday.

Warren enters Thursday's program tied atop the trainer standings with Steve

DiMauro, both with six wins. Collazo is deadlocked for third with Dave Vivian and Chris Gatis, one win off the pace.