07/18/2006 11:00PM

Locals just huge on Summit Day

Email

MIAMI - Saturday's $2 million Summit of Speed card was full of surprises, not the least of which was the success of the locally based runners.

Nightmare Affair was the big star for the home forces. He and Pomeroy led a one-two finish for Calder-based horses in the $500,000 Smile Sprint Handicap. Prospective Saint, the only filly stabled on the grounds to compete in the Grade 1 Princess Rooney Handicap, finished second behind another homegrown product, Malibu Mint, who made her first 11 starts at Calder. Mach Ride and Blazing Rate finished second and third in the Grade 2 Carry Back Stakes, while Frolicing crossed the wire second but was disqualified and placed third in the Grade 3 Azalea.

Calder-based runners also swept the five stakes on the undercard. Gin Rummy Champ captured the $100,000 Calder Turf Sprint Handicap, Running Bobcats won the $100,000 Distaff Turf Handicap, Straight Faced set a stakes record taking the $80,000 Birdonthewire, Post Invader dominated the $80,000 Cassidy, and Gin Rummy King won the $45,000 Donthelumbertrader.

Pomeroy, Prospective Saint, and Frolicing all came out of the barn of trainer Marty Wolfson, who had a very good yet frustrating afternoon, punctuated by the nagging thought of what could have been.

Pomeroy's runner-up finish in the Grade 2 Smile was amazing considering the race was his first start since the Grade 1 Vosburgh Handicap on Oct. 1. Pomeroy underwent surgery to remove a chip from his ankle after the Vosburgh and was subsequently sold privately to his current owner, David Hutson.

"It was really hard for me to get him ready for this race off workouts, and I'm sure if I had gotten a race under his belt he would have run 1:09 and change and beaten that field," said Wolfson.

Wolfson continues to be frustrated by the talented but strong-willed Frolicing, whose penchant for bearing out around the final turn and through the stretch not only cost her second via the disqualification in the Azalea but may have kept her from winning the race outright.

"It's not a physical problem with her, it's strictly mental," said Wolfson. "And if she had an outside post instead of drawing the rail, I think she would have won the race, because she could have just started outside and stayed away from the other horse."

Wolfson said he will go back and tinker with some equipment changes in hopes of getting Frolicing, a homebred daughter of Royal Academy, straightened out in time to make the Test Stakes next month at Saratoga.

"I'll try putting an extension blinker on her and see if that works in the morning," said Wolfson. "But I won't send her to a race like the Test if I'm not confident I've got the problem licked."

Arce notches a graded win

Perhaps the happiest person on the grounds here Saturday was jockey Josue' Arce, who not only posted his first Grade 1 victory aboard Malibu Mint in the Princess Rooney but his first graded win of any kind. Malibu Mint finished full of run after Arce angled her off the deep rail and into the better going out in the middle of the track to win the Princess Rooney by 3 3/4 lengths. Her final time of 1:10.20 over the cuppy racetrack was .54 of a second faster than Nightmare Affair ran winning the Smile, and earned Malibu Mint a Beyer Speed Figure of 114.

"I am so excited," Arce kept saying over and over again in the winner's circle after the race. "I always believed in this filly and knew she liked this track. I wanted to get her to the outside because she likes it best out there, and I wanted to keep her out of trouble. When I came into the stretch and still had plenty of horse left, I said to myself, 'This is going to be easy.' "

Apprentice Jeffrey Sanchez also earned his first graded-stakes win when he guided Nightmare Affair to victory for trainer Manny Azpurua in the Smile. Sanchez was forced to waive his five-pound apprentice allowance in the handicap race. Sanchez is third in the local standings behind Manoel Cruz and Abel Castellano Jr.

* Trainer Dan Hurtak said his much-improved Siphon City will make his next start in the

Grade 1 Whitney Handicap at Saratoga on Aug. 5. Siphon City is coming off the biggest win of his career, a six-length victory in the Grade 2 Cornhusker Handicap at Prairie Meadows on July 1. A former claimer, he posted his first graded win here in his previous start, the Grade 3 Memorial Day Handicap.

* Overnight purses have been raised from $2,000 to $8,000 per race beginning Friday with the unveiling of a three-day-a-week live racing schedule. Friday's main event, a second-level allowance race, will be worth $36,000. The same condition had offered a purse of only $28,000 since the meet began on April 25. The new racing schedule remains in effect through Aug. 28.