09/28/2005 11:00PM

No cinch in Flying Pidgeon


MIAMI - Keep Cool and Bob's Proud Moment ascended to the top of the local handicap turf division at Calder this summer, but they figure to face strong challenges from some familiar faces when a field of 12 assemble for Saturday's $100,000 Flying Pidgeon Handicap.

Keep Cool used his abundant speed to post wire-to-wire victories in the Mecke Handicap and Absent Russian Stakes during the summer, both at the 1 1/8-mile distance as the Flying Pidgeon. But Keep Cool, a son of Frosty the Snowman, may find himself with an early challenge on Saturday from the equally fleet Runnintothealter, who is sharp now and undefeated in two career starts on grass.

Bob's Proud Moment could not catch Keep Cool in either the Mecke or Absent Russian but rebounded from those two setbacks to rally off a very fast pace and capture the Grade 3 Miami Mile Breeders' Cup Handicap here on Labor Day. The biggest question mark for Bob's Proud Moment is the distance, as he is winless in five tries at 1 1/8 miles on grass.

Final Prophecy skyrocketed to the head of the division early in the meet after posting back-to-back stakes victories, but has not been a serious factor in three starts since posting a 9 3/4-length triumph in the Band Is Passing Stakes on June 18. A late-striding son of World Stage, Final Prophecy could benefit from what figures to be an honest pace and is eligible to bounce back at a square price in the Flying Pidgeon.

Magic Mecke, among the most promising grass runners in the area during the winter of 2004, returns from a 17-month layoff. His trainer, Eddie Plesa Jr., believes Magic Mecke is fit enough to turn in a big effort right off the bench. Magic Mecke, 5, won three straight grass races at 3, including the Pete Axthelm Stakes, then was beaten a length in the Sunshine Millions Turf to open his 4-year-old campaign. He has been plagued by nagging injuries ever since finishing off the board in the Carterista Handicap here during the spring of 2004.

Handsome Smile, a local favorite for many years, has cycled back to top form at the age of 7 and will enter the Flying Pidgeon with a three-race win streak. Texas Red has posted 2 wins and 2 seconds in his last 4 starts and was the runner-up behind Keep Cool in the Absent Russian.

Dancing Master, whose furious rally from last fell a neck shy of upsetting the Miami Mile, is also among the key contenders in a field that includes Supervisor, Whos Crying Now, French Charmer, and Streamline.