05/15/2009 11:00PM

Heavy favorites snare both stakes


MIAMI - Form held up nicely in both overnight stakes here at Calder on Saturday, with Garter Belt leading throughout to win the $55,000 Regal Gal and Mambo Meister following suit 30 minutes later to dominate the $55,000 Big Bubble.

Garter Belt ($3.20), making her first start since winning the Green Oaks on March 20 at Delta Downs, had to fend off a couple of runs from the stakes-placed Brinca en route to her victory in the mile and 70-yard Regal Gal. Brinca, who broke awkwardly, finished 4 1/2 lengths clear of longshot Who Plays Brahms while easily second best in a field of six 3-year-old fillies.

Garter Belt is trained by Stanley Gold for the Jacks or Better Farm and was ridden by Jermaine Bridgmohan.

Mambo Meister ($2.80) benefitted when the 1 1/16-mile Big Bubble was switched from the turf to a fast main track due to overnight rains. As a result, the field scratched down from 11 to just six starters, with the majority of the key contenders coming out.

Jockey Manoel Cruz made an aggressive and decisive move with Mambo Meister entering the backstretch, seizing command from inside pacesetter Honey Honey Honey following an opening quarter-mile run in a pedestrian 25.09 seconds. Mambo Meister was then able to cruise on the lead, opened a commanding advantage entering the stretch, and won with speed to spare.

Imawildandcrazyguy rallied along the rail after lagging far back to easily best the rest, finishing six lengths in front of the late-striding Too Good.

Mambo Meister is owned by Quantum Racing Team 1 and trained by Phil Gleaves.

Third new jockey gets first win

Sixto Ribera Jr. became the third member of the local jockey colony in less than a week to register his first U.S. victory, capturing Friday's finale aboard Galacia Forest for trainer David Brownlee.

Ribera, 21, was born in Mexico City but has spent the last 16 years in Ocala, Fla., where his father, Sixto Ribera Sr., is an owner and breeder. Ribera, who received his jockey license last year, reached the milestone with his 22nd career mount.

Ribera joined fellow 10-pound bug riders Jose Angel Garcia and Abraham Banda, who won their first races in this country last weekend.

Wolfson prepares two for stakes

Trainer Marty Wolfson sent out several of his stakes-caliber runners out to work early Saturday morning, including Motovato and Ikigai.

Motovato, tuning up for a possible start in the Grade 3 Memorial Day Handicap, worked a half-mile in 50.60 seconds.

Ikigai, one of the top sprinters on the grounds, went the same distance in 49.60 as he prepares for a possible start in the Ponche Handicap on June 13. Ikigai's major goal is the Grade 2 Smile Sprint Handicap on July 11.

First Passage, winner of the Snurb overnight stakes earlier in the meet, was the quickest of the Wolfson trainees to breeze on Saturday, going a half-mile in 48.80 immediately before the renovation break.

Other notables on Saturday's tab included trainer Manny Azpurua's Group 1-placed Pechito and Jose Pinchin's speedy filly Golden Mystery, both of whom drilled a half- mile in 48.60, which shared the bullet at the distance with B L's Who's Who.