Updated on 09/17/2011 9:49PM

Leave Me Alone gets the nod in Azalea

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Jim Lisa Photos
Leave Me Alone wins the $300,000 Azalea Breeders' Cup Stakes at Calder on Sunday.

MIAMI, Fla. - Trainer J. Eric Kruljac thought he'd lost, owner Stephen Mitchell was certain he'd won and just about everyone else in attendance wouldn't have been surprised if the placing judges hung up a dead heat for win following Sunday's pulsating renewal of the $300,000 at Calder.

In the end, Mitchell proved correct after his filly Leave Me Alone won the tight photo by a nose over Hide And Chic to capture the Grade 3 Azalea for 3-year-old fillies.

Leave Me Alone, a California invader ridden by Kent Desormeaux, showed surprising speed to contest the early pace along with Flying Circle and Hot Storm. On the turn, Leave Me Along bore out just a bit at which point jockey Eddie Castro seized the opportunity to drive Hide and Chic up along the rail to gain a short advantage.

But Leave Me Along would not give up, the two fillies pulling away from the rest of the field while dueling eyeball to eyeball through the stretch before arriving at the wire inches apart.

"From my vantage point I thought the other filly(Hide and Chic) had won," said Kruljac after the race. "Kent said the two fillies to his outside were trying to shove him back down along the rail which is why he brought her out the way he did on the turn. Both fillies ran a great race but I thought mine was the strongest of the two at the end."

Leave Me Alone, a daughter of Bold Badgett, paid $8.20 after covering six furlongs in 1:10.32 seconds over a fast track.

"We came here trying to get some Graded black type on her record and now we've accomplished that," explained Kruljac. "The way she galloped out seven furlongs looks right up here alley so we'll probably nominate her for the Test Stakes at Saratoga and see what happens."

Southern Cal wires Turf Sprint

Southern Cal led throughout to post a 2 3/4 length victory over Gin Rummy Champ in the $100,000 Calder Turf Sprint Handicap decided over a yielding course. Defending champion Whenthedoveflies finished sixth as the 9-5 favorite.

Southern Cal, a 4-year-old son of Halo's Image owned by David Romanik, paid $20.80. Final time for the five furlongs over the wet course was :58.12. The win was the first of two on the day for jockey Russell Baze who later guided the undefeated Lost in the Fog to an easy win in the Carry Back Stakes.

"I was actually using this race as a prep for some later races going longer," said winning trainer Ron Spatz. "Sprinting is not really his game because sometimes he runs into the turns too fast and just doesn't make them well. Be did well today."

In Summation remains unbeaten

In Summation, the top 2-year-old stabled on the grounds, kept his record perfect when rallying to a hard fought 1 1/4 decision over The Pharoah in the $75,000 Birdonthewire Stakes. The win was the third in as many starts for the son of Put It Back who is trained by Frank Gomez and was ridden to victory by Manoel Cruz.

In Summation paid $2.40 after covering 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:05.67.

Mykindasaint an easy winner

Texas invader Mykindasaint also remained unbeaten with an easy 2 3/4 length win over the late striding Good Intentions in the $75,000 Cassidy Stakes for 2-year-old fillies. Jerry Bailey was aboard the Saint Ballado filly for trainer C.W. Bubba Cascio. She paid $3.40.

Thats The Problem outsprinted 10 rivals to register a one length decision over Caller One in the $50,000 Rocket Man Stakes. The Fort Erie based gelding was ridden by Abdiel Toribio and saddled by local trainer Frank Carlisi. He paid $13.00.

Caller One, who has earned over $3 million, was making his first start since finishing third in the 2004 Rocket Man. Defending champion Pembroke Hall finished fourth.