12/01/2005 12:00AM

My Charmer attracts Grade 1 duo


MIAMI A pair of Grade 1 stakes winners, , will showcase their talents for a mere $100,000 purse in a field of 12 fillies and mares in Saturdays Grade 3 My Charmer Handicap on turf at Calder.

The 1 1/8-mile My Charmer is the first of four $100,000 stakes to be decided on Saturdays Grand Slam I card, along with the Three Ring Stakes, Foolish Pleasure Stakes, and Grade 3 Tropical Turf Handicap. The four races, 7 through 10 on the 12-race program, make up a pick four wager.

Sand Springs and Ticker Tape are not only Grade 1 winners but millionaires. They will also both come into the My Charmer off subpar performances, Sand Springs looking to bounce back from her 11th-place finish in the Breeders Cup Mile and Ticker Tape off an eighth-place effort in Keenelands Grade 2 Galaxy Stakes.

Sand Springs, the 121-pound highweight, will be favored in the My Charmer despite tiring badly after contesting the early pace of the BC Mile. In her previous three starts, the 5-year-old Sand Springs won the Grade 1 Diana and Grade 2 Just a Game Breeders Cup Handicap, and finished fourth, beaten less than two lengths, in the Grade 1 Flower Bowl.

Trainer by Bill Mott for the Swettenham Stud, Sand Springs will be making her local debut in the My Charmer. She did race twice in south Florida last winter, winning Gulfstream Parks Grade 3 Honey Fox Handicap on March 13.

Jerry Bailey will again be aboard Sand Springs, who should prove the one to catch breaking from post 2.

Ticker Tape is winless since registering a half-length decision over Barancella to capture the Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup at Keeneland during the fall of 2004. She did finish third in the Grade 1 Matriarch to close out her 3-year-old campaign and has been graded stakes-placed twice in six tries this year.

Trainer James Cassidy said he is discounting Ticker Tapes effort in the Galaxy because she had tied up several days before the race.

She was training as good as ever going into the [Galaxy] and has trained extremely well since returning to California after the race, so I expect her to turn in a big effort on Saturday, said Cassidy, who has brought jockey Jose Valdivia Jr. from California for the assignment.

Trainer Christophe Clement, who won the 1995 My Charmer with Danish, will send out the uncoupled pair of Spotlight and Snowdrops. Spotlight won a minor stakes at Delaware Park earlier in the fall and is coming off a second behind Olaya in the Grade 2 Long Island Handicap.

Snowdrops finished a fast-closing second in the 2004 My Charmer. She has captured 2 of 7 starts this year, including Gulfstreams Grade 3 Suwannee River Handicap.

Trainer Todd Pletcher will send out Path of Thunder in hopes of defending the My Charmer title he won a year ago with Something Ventured. Path of Thunder won a restricted stakes at Saratoga but has failed to hit the board in four graded stakes tries.

She likes firm ground but this has come up a very tough spot a lot tougher than your normal Grade 3 race, Pletcher said.

La Reina, beaten only two lengths by Intercontinental in the Galaxy, also looms a major contender but must break from the outside in post 12.

Completing the lineup are Fin, Skip Command, Silver Lace, Pattiano, Formal Miss, and Elle Runaway.