07/06/2005 11:00PM

May be the year for a local hero in Azalea


MIAMI - No locally based 3-year-old filly has won the $300,000 Azalea Breeders' Cup Stakes in the five-year history of the Summit of Speed program. That could change Saturday, though, with four of the eight members of the Azalea lineup stabled on the grounds, including key contenders Hide and Chic and Flying Circle. They face Hot Storm, who may be the best of the four fillies who have shipped in for the race.

, a homebred daughter of Seeking the Gold owned by Live Oak Plantation, may be the slight favorite in the Azalea coming off a pair of one-sided victories. Hide and Chic earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 96 winning an entry-level allowance race by 13 3/4 lengths on May 10, then returned five weeks later to post a Beyer Figure of 98 for her 9 1/4-length victory in the Swept Away Stakes, which was decided over a sloppy track. A wet track is probable Saturday because of the effects of Hurricane Dennis, which was expected to pass west of the Florida coast early this weekend.

is also at the top of her game, having won her last three starts, including the Snurb Stakes here on April 25 and the Open Mind Stakes over the Churchill Downs grass course four weeks later. A 3-year-old daughter of Pembroke, Flying Circle is owned by Walter New.

"She's doing well, and I think she fits nicely in this spot," said trainer David Fawkes. "Hot Storm is a real good horse, but she's coming from another track, which gives us a home-court advantage. It also looks like there's plenty of speed in the race, and my filly likes to sit back just off the pace."

Midtown Miss, winner of the Harmony Lodge Stakes earlier this spring, and a recent allowance winner, Mertie M., round out the Calder contingent for the Grade 3 Azalea.

upset the Sunshine Millions Oaks at Santa Anita in late January but has run into bad racing luck in four subsequent starts, all third-place finishes against graded stakes competition.

Trained by Dallas Stewart, Hot Storm would also benefit from a wet track on Saturday and will again be ridden by Jerry Bailey.

Completing the Azalea lineup are Leave Me Alone, a restricted stakes winner in her native California; Partner Due, winner of Belmont's restricted Meadow Star Stakes on June 18; and the former Calder-based filly Hello Lucky.

Turf Sprint: Filly defends against males

The $100,000 Calder Turf Sprint Handicap is the richest of the four non-graded stakes on the Summit of Speed card, and it features the return of defending champion Whenthedoveflies, who defeated the boys despite enduring a race-long pace battle in this event one year ago.

Whenthedoveflies is a genuine turf-sprint specialist, having captured 9 of her 11 starts at five furlongs on the grass. She is also the track-record-holder at the distance both here and at Tampa Bay Downs.

Placido, who upset Whenthedoveflies this winter at Tampa and who won the Reappeal Stakes on May 14, heads the opposition, which also includes the 2004 Calder Turf Sprint runner-up, Swift Replica, along with Kentucky invader Chosen Chief.

Rocket Man: Caller One due in

The $50,000 Rocket Man Stakes could feature the return of one-time world-class sprinter Caller One, who has not started since finishing third in the two-furlong dash in 2004. Caller One has banked more than $3.1 million in his career, the majority of it earned winning back-to-back renewals of the Dubai Golden Shaheen.

Caller One is part of an entry along with his speedy stablemate Aint It Sweep, one of two females among the dozen horses entered for the Rocket Man. The field also includes the defending champion, Pembroke Hall, who was claimed out of his last start at Fort Erie, and the 2004 Rocket Man runner-up, Love My Mountain.

Birdonthewire, Cassidy: Juveniles well matched

The $75,000 Birdonthewire Stakes for 2-year-olds and its filly counterpart, the $75,000 Cassidy Stakes, both appear to be very competitive events.

The Birdonthewire has drawn an outstanding field, led by local division leader In Summation, who has won his two starts by 4 3/4 and 10 3/4 lengths, including the B L's Sweep Stakes in the slop on June 20. A son of Put It Back trained by Frank Gomez, In Summation earned Beyer Speed Figures of 90 and 98 for his two victories.

In Summation is one of four undefeated colts in the 5 1/2-furlong Birdonthewire, along with the promising trio of B L's a Runner, The Pharaoh, and R Fast Favorite.

Mykindasaint, an easy six-length winner at Lone Star Park of her only start, tops the field for the 5 1/2-furlong Cassidy for 2-year-old fillies. The Schvagen, Madison North, Five Star Susan and Running Lass appear to be the best of the locals.