05/30/2010 11:00PM

Mambo Meister proves just as good on dirt


MIAMI - Turf or dirt, it just doesn't seem to matter these days to Mambo Meister.

Five weeks after winning the Grade 3 Miami Mile over the turf, Mambo Meister returned on the main track to dominate Monday's Grade 3 Memorial Day Handicap at Calder, drawing off through the stretch to an easy 7 3/4-length victory over Causeway's Kin .

The 1 1/16-mile Memorial Day was the third graded stakes win for Mambo Meister, who also won the Spend a Buck here last season. A son of King Cugat, Mambo Meister is trained by Phil Gleaves for the Quantum Racing Team No. 1, and many of the group's owners packed the winner's circle to greet their hero after the race.

The Memorial Day was all but over as the field exited the clubhouse turn after jockey Manoel Cruz placed the 4-5 favorite Mambo Meister in perfect striking distance in close pursuit of pacesetter Cinnamon Road. Mambo Meister ($3.60) readily overtook the leader approaching the quarter pole, quickly opened a comfortable advantage, and then steadily increased his lead through the final furlong. He completed the distance in 1:45.70.

Causeway's Kin altered his usual tactics, taking back off the early leaders before outgaming Cinnamon Road by a neck to be second. They were followed by Too Many Toyz, Dream Maestro, and Unbridled Heat.

"The race didn't set up quite like I expected with Cinnamon Road alone on the lead, but we left it up to Manoel and he wisely let him go when he was begging to go to the lead," said Gleaves. "We'll savor this win and discuss where we'll go from here, on the road like we did last summer."