08/17/2003 11:00PM

Melvin Calvert, trainer, dead


Melvin "Sunshine" Calvert, trainer of champion My Dear Girl and Florida Derby winner In Reality, died last Wednesday in Florida. He was 93.

Until a few years ago, Calvert was a regular visitor to Calder Race Course, which runs divisions of the Florida Stallion Stakes named for My Dear Girl and In Reality, both owned by Frances Genter.

My Dear Girl won the Gardenia at Garden State Park and the Frizette at Belmont in 1959 en route to becoming champion 2-year-old filly. In Reality, a member of the strong 3-year-old crop of 1967 that included Damascus and Dr. Fager, won the Fountain of Youth and Florida Derby at Gulfstream, and was placed first in the Jersey Derby at Garden State after finishing second to Dr. Fager.

Superbity, a son of My Dear Girl, won the Grade 1 Flamingo Stakes at Hialeah in 1980 for Calvert and Genter.