12/26/2009 12:00AM

This Ones for Phil back where it began


MIAMI - This Ones for Phil, who began his career at Calder before earning national attention by winning the Sunshine Millions Dash and Grade 2 Swale last winter at Gulfstream Park, will return to his roots on Saturday to close out his 3-year-old campaign in the $100,000 Kenny Noe Jr. Handicap. The Grade 3 Noe is one of three graded stakes at Calder on Saturday, including the Grade 2 W.L. McKnight Handicap and the Grade 3 Stage Door Betty.

This Ones for Phil will shoulder high weight of 120 pounds, including John Velazquez, in the seven-furlong Noe. A son of Untuttable, This Ones for Phil was purchased privately by the partnership that currently owns him after winning 2 of 8 starts at 2, including Calder's Seacliff Stakes. He blossomed last winter, beginning with his sensational 2 1/4-length triumph in the Sunshine Millions Dash. That performance earned This Ones for Phil a 115 Beyer Speed Figure, still the highest number posted by any horse at less than a mile in 2009.

This Ones for Phil has had just one start since finishing fifth in the Grade 2 Woody Stephens on June 6, posting an easy 3 1/4-length allowance win at Laurel on Nov. 28.

"We took some chips out of both knees after the Woody Stephens," said trainer Rick Dutrow. "We didn't want to bring him back off the bench and carry all that weight in the Fall Highweight or against such a strong field in the Cigar Mile, so the race at Laurel was perfect. I like this spot for him Saturday. He's already won over the track, seven furlongs might be his best distance, and the timing is good to get him ready again for the Sunshine Millions."

Biker Boy, a winner of 5 of his 8 starts, looks like the horse to beat. The Kenny Noe will be just his second try against stakes competition. Biker Boy finished an even fourth behind Eclipse Award candidates Kodiak Kowboy and Fabulous Strike in the Grade 1 Carter Handicap during the spring.

"If he runs his race, he's as good as anybody," said trainer Nick Zito.

Prince Joshua should prove the one to catch breaking from the rail. He comes off a career-best performance in the Jack Dudley Sprint, when beaten a neck by Pashito the Che following a stretch-long battle. You and I Forever and uncoupled stablemate Motovato both shorten up in distance after steady diets of longer races, while Hypocrite stretches out to what may be his most effective distance off a series of very sharp morning trials.

The $100,000 Stage Door Betty Handicap will feature the red-hot Sweet Repent, winner of her last three starts including a runaway victory over Jessica Is Back in the Elmer Heubeck Distaff Handicap, for which she received a 110 Beyer Figure.

Jessica Is Back rebounded from her setback in the Heubeck to post a one-sided allowance win three weeks later, setting the stage for an interesting rematch in the 1 1/16-mile Stage Door Betty. The race drew a full field of 14 fillies and mares, including invaders Morena, Flying Dixie, Aurora Lights, Nicksappealinglady, Lomaki, Amazing, and Kiddari.

Morena may be the best of the new faces, coming off a second-place finish in the Grade 2 Falls City Handicap at Churchill Downs. Flying Dixie has won 3 of her last 4 starts dating back to the first day of spring.