11/28/2006 12:00AM

Gun Salute back in Tropical Turf


MIAMI – To nobody’s surprise, Saturday’s $100,000 Tropical Turf Handicap and its filly counterpart, the $100,000 My Charmer, both lured full fields when drawn Monday. The two stakes, both Grade 3’s, headline the 12-race Grand Slam I card, which also includes the $100,000 Foolish Pleasure and $100,000 Three Ring Stakes for 2-year-olds.

Gun Salute will be starting highweight under 120 pounds in the Tropical Turf, which has a field of 12 older grass specialists set to go nine furlongs. The winner of the Grade 1 Secretariat Stakes at Arlington Park last year, Gun Salute has not started since finishing third as the 2-1 favorite in the Grade 1 Gulfstream Park Breeders’ Cup Handicap on Feb. 25.

Gun Salute will face a lineup that includes Drum Major, winner of the Grade 3 Knickerbocker at Aqueduct earlier this month, and Can’t Beat It, who captured the Grade 3 Calder Derby by 3 1/4 widening lengths. The win came in Can’t Beat It’s first start since his disqualification from second in the Grade 2 American Derby this summer at Arlington on a medication positive.

Other key names in the Tropical Turf include Interpatation, who was fourth in the Grade 1 Turf Classic Invitation at Belmont on Oct. 7, Ballast, Giant Wrecker,and Siphon City.

Trainer Christophe Clement, who captured the 2005 My Charmer with Snowdrops, will attempt to defend his title with 120-pound highweight Naissance Royale. A 4-year-old Giant’s Causeway filly, Naissance Royale rallied from last to finish third in the Grade 1 E. P. Taylor on Oct. 22.

The My Charmer has a field of 12, including two from trainer Bobby Frankel, Dream Lady and Amorama. The field also includes Brunilda, My Lordship, and local favorite Bayou’s Lassie.

Yesbyjimminy, Siphon City work for turf stakes

The turf course was open for business Monday morning and drew some big names, including trainer Eddie Plesa Jr.’s speedy 2-year-old Yesbyjimminy and Siphon City, who will return to the grass in the Tropical Turf.

Yesbyjimminy, third as the 6-5 favorite in the seven-furlong Jack Price Juvenile Stakes earlier this month, worked five furlongs in 58.66 seconds before galloping out six furlongs in 1:11.06. Siphon City went a half-mile in 48.40, going his final quarter in 23 seconds.

Plesa said he plans to try Yesbyjimminy on the turf for the first time in the Kris S. Stakes on Dec. 9.

“He’s a half brother to both Magic Mecke and A.J. Melini, and they’ve both won on grass, so we’ll see if he takes after that side of the family,” said Plesa. “He certainly worked this morning the way you’d have wanted to see him work on the grass, and he galloped out very strong. I’m still not convinced he won’t go two turns, and the Kris S. looks like a good spot to find out.”

Siphon City will return to the turf for the first time since mid-February in the Tropical Turf. A 4-year-old, he has finished far back in each of his three starts since he scored a six-length victory in the Grade 2 Cornerhusker Breeders’ Cup Handicap at Prairie Meadows on July 1. Siphon City has 1 win in 4 tries on turf.

Two days, two races for Caught a Slew

Trainer Sharon Roberts certainly didn’t allow any grass to grow under the feet of Caught a Slew last weekend. An 8-year-old mare, Caught a Slew ran on Saturday and Sunday, finishing ninth in the two-furlong Fast N Furious Stakes before returning 24 hours later and finishing sixth in a second-level allowance dash on the grass.

The two starts were the 14th and 15th this season for Caught a Slew, who remains winless in 2006. A daughter of Ocala Slew, she finished second twice within a five-day span at Gulfstream Park in April.

Old Dodge gets first win in two years

Old Dodge and Paradise Dancer registered popular victories in a pair of overnight stakes on Sunday’s card.

Old Dodge, third behind Aussie Rules in the Grade 1 Shadwell Turf Mile at Keeneland in early October, rallied under jockey Rene Douglas to capture the Pass the Line Stakes at 7 1/2 furlongs on turf. The win was Old Dodge’s first since December 2004, when he won in his native Brazil. A Group 1 winner, Old Dodge is trained by Roger Horgan for the Alnoff Stable.

Paradise Dancer was fully extended to win his second straight overnight handicap, outlasting How’s Your Halo in the 6 1/2-furlong Radar Love Stakes. Paradise Dancer was claimed for $40,000 by trainer Kirk Ziadie for owner Richard Averill on Aug. 4 and will likely return in the Grade 3 Kenny Noe Jr. Handicap on Dec. 16.

* Apprentice Jermaine Bridgmohan won four races on Monday’s card to recapture the lead in the jockey standings from Manoel Cruz, who won four races here last Friday. Elvis Trujillo also won four races on last Friday’s card and is third in the standings.