Updated on 09/15/2011 1:36PM

Heat is on Dream Supreme


MIAMI - Dream Supreme, whose bid for leadership in the filly and mare sprint division was sidetracked by a loss to Dat You Miz Blue in the Vagrancy Handicap, will attempt to bounce back Saturday against eight rivals in the $400,000 Princess Rooney Handicap. The Grade 3 Princess Rooney is the highlight of the second annual Summit of Speed, an all-sprint program at Calder that includes five stakes with combined purses of more than $1 million.

The Princess Rooney is the richest sprint race for fillies and mares in the country. It will be supported on the 13-race program by the $250,000 Carry Back Stakes for 3-year-olds, the $250,000 Azalea Stakes for 3-year-old fillies, and the $100,000 Calder Turf Sprint Handicap at five furlongs on the grass. These stakes make up a $100,000-guaranteed pick four. Also on the card is the $50,000 Rocket Man Stakes for 2-year-olds and up at two furlongs.

The Summit of Speed lost a bit of luster when trainer Linda Rice decided on Thursday not to ship City Zip here for the Carry Back. City Zip would have been the odds-on favorite to win the six-furlong race, coming off an impressive victory over Songandaprayer in Monmouth's Jersey Shore Breeders' Cup on July 4.

"I didn't want to ship him down into that heat and run him back on just nine days' rest if everything was just not exactly the way it needed to be," Rice said from New York. "Everything had to be perfect, and I just didn't think he was ready for that kind of mission. This horse has bled through Lasix on two occasions, after the Champagne and Bay Shore, because of respiratory infections. He coughed a couple of times this morning and as a result I just didn't want to take the chance of sending him down there. So we'll just keep him up here in the cool weather and he should be in good shape for his next start, which will be in the Amsterdam at Saratoga."

Trainer Bill Mott had no such reservations about shipping Dream Supreme to Calder for the Princess Rooney.

"I'm not worried about her coming into that heat as much as I am the trainer," Mott quipped. "She ran in the heat at Saratoga last summer and did well, so it should be no problem."

Dream Supreme will be odds-on despite carrying high weight of 122 pounds and spotting her opponents at least seven pounds. She is coming off a 6 3/4-length loss in Belmont's Grade 3 Vagrancy Handicap on June 16.

Dream Supreme became the top 3-year-old filly sprinter last year when she won the Test Stakes and Ballerina Handicap at Saratoga. Her Ballerina victory came over fillies and mares. She will probably defend her title in the Ballerina on Aug. 26.

Dream Supreme has won the Grade 2 Distaff Breeders' Cup and Grade 2 Humana Distaff handicaps this season. Both those races were at seven furlongs. The Princess Rooney is at six furlongs, a distance at which Dream Supreme has captured two of four career starts. One of those defeats was a sixth-place finish in last year's Breeders' Cup Sprint.

Dream Supreme's owner is George Steinbrenner, whose New York Yankees play the Florida Marlins at adjacent Pro Player Stadium earlier Saturday afternoon.

Among the other ship-ins for the Princess Rooney are two fillies who figure to assure a lively pace, Hidden Assets and Tugger. Hidden Assets led throughout to upset Dream Supreme this winter in Gulfstream Park's Shirley Jones Handicap, while Tugger appears to be rounding back to top form and has won her last two starts.