10/12/2007 11:00PM

Meet offers fresh start for all

EmailMIAMI - After 112 days of racing at a Calder meet that began April 25, everybody starts with a clean slate Monday when the 60-day Tropical at Calder meeting begins.

The Tropical at Calder session, which runs through Jan. 2, 2008, will be highlighted by four multiple stakes cards, beginning with the Florida Million on Nov. 10. Other big days include Grand Slam I on Dec. 1, Grand Slam II on Dec. 15, and Grand Slam III on Dec. 29.

Of the 25 stakes races scheduled, all but one offers a purse of $100,000 or higher, topped by the $200,000 La Prevoyante and W.L. McKnight handicaps, both Grade 2s, on Dec. 15. Nine stakes on the Tropical schedule are graded.

As usual, the Tropical at Calder meet is expected to draw entries from many of the top horsemen in the country, some of whom will begin arriving in the area as early as Nov. 1. Kirk Ziadie, fresh off winning the Calder training title, will be back to defend the Tropical championship he won by a

single victory over Bill White in 2006-07.

Highlighting opening day will be a second-level optional claiming dash that drew a field of seven, led by Shane Jules and Blue Pepsi Lodge.

Ziadie will try to get off to a quick start at the meet with Shane Jules, who has defeated similar conditioned opponents in each of his last two starts.

Blue Pepsi Lodge will return to the main track off a third-place finish going five furlongs over the turf on Sept. 17. The one-time stakes-caliber runner easily defeated first-level optional claiming competition on dirt in his previous outing.

Kopper Kilgoar, Machismo, and Sir Silver Fox, second, third, and fifth, respectively, behind Shane Jules over a sloppy track on Sept. 30, will look to do better.

Without a Doubt also could be a major player, while returning from Chicago where he held his own against better opposition in three starts at the Arlington Park meet.

Lucky Frolic also demands respect off his last performance, a gate-to-wire 4 1/2-length victory over slightly softer allowance company.

* Long time owner Ethel Imprescia died earlier this week at the age 94. She is survived by her husband, former trainer Dominic Imprescia, who is best known for training the talented Timely Writer.