09/30/2010 3:47PM

Gourmet Dinner getting set for In Reality


MIAMI – Local 2-year-old division leaders Gourmet Dinner and Awesome Feather skipped last weekend’s prep races to await the finales of the Florida Stallion Stakes on Oct. 16, with both beginning their final preparations for those starts by working a mile here on Tuesday. The colt Gourmet Dinner is pointing for the In Reality, and the filly Awesome Feather goes in the My Dear Girl

Those two works were a contrast in styles, with Awesome Feather going very fast early and slow late en route to a final clocking of 1:44.20, while Gourmet Dinner walked away from the pole before finishing up willingly in 1:47.80

“He went the opening quarter in 29 seconds but finished the final two furlongs in 25,” said Steve Standridge who is overseeing Gourmet Dinner’s training while serving as an assistant to trainer of record Peter Guylas. “It was just what we wanted, to see him finish like that. We’ll probably bring him back to work six furlongs on Monday.”

Standridge said Juan Leyva was aboard Gourmet Dinner for the workout, deputizing for the colt’s regular rider Sebastian Madrid, who was injured in a nasty spill here last month. Madrid has ridden Gourmet Dinner to all three of his victories, including wins in the Dr. Fager and Affirmed divisions of the Stallion Series.

According to Standridge, Madrid is expected to receive clearance from his doctor to begin riding again within the next few days and should be able to take his regular seat aboard Gourmet Dinner for the In Reality.

Starter allowances dominate card

With a three week hiatus on the stakes schedule leading up to the Festival of the Sun on Oct. 16, starter allowance horses will take the spotlight Saturday at Calder.

Four of the 12 races on Saturday’s program will be decided under starter allowance conditions, including a pair for 2-year-olds who have raced for a claiming tag of $25,000 or less. There is also a low-level starter race for fillies and mares.

Lila Louann, a six-length winner when returning to the selling ranks in her previous start, will be favored to defeat seven other juvenile fillies in the eighth event, carded at five furlongs. Lila Louann, whose two setbacks in four starts came against stakes opposition in the Desert Vixen division of the Florida Stallion Stakes and grassy Catcharisingstar, benefitted from a pronounced outside bias when posting her latest victory and could be overbet on Saturday.

A trio of speedy fillies, Flying Trip, Limbo Dancer and Onlyoneanna, should assure an honest pace. Onlyoneanna defeated males when winning her maiden in easy fashion on Aug. 28 and could prove formidable returning against her own kind on Saturday.