12/15/2006 12:00AM

Ozone Bere drops down from Grade 2's


MIAMI - Trainer Christophe Clement figures to improve on his already gaudy 40 percent win rate during the current session when he sends out Grade 3 winner Ozone Bere as the solid choice in Sunday's $45,000 Connie Ann Stakes at Calder. The Connie Ann, an overnight stakes decided under allowance conditions, is carded at 1 1/16 miles on the turf, weather permitting.

Ozone Bere will be getting significant class relief in the Connie Ann after facing graded stakes company in each of her four races since shipping to this country from Europe early this year.

The French-bred 4-year-old won her U.S. debut in the Grade 3 Gallorette Stakes on Pimlico's Preakness undercard, rallying from midpack in a 13-horse lineup to post a game head decision over Humoristic.

In three subsequent starts, all against Gradeo2 competition, Ozone Bere finished third behind Gorella and Pommes Frites in the Just a Game Handicap; fourth stretching to nine furlongs in Woodbine's Dance Smartly Stakes; and a troubled sixth in Saratoga's Ballston Spa Handicap on Aug. 26. She has trained forwardly for her return since shipping to Payson Park in early November, with five works, including a bullet half-mile over the main track Nov. 16.

Clement will have to find a last-minute replacement for jockey Rene Douglas, who was originally named on Ozone Bere but will be unable to keep that commitment after being barred by track management on Friday.

Should Ozone Bere disappoint in her return, Potra Clasica could prove the most likely beneficiary. She, too, is a veteran of graded stakes competition and is coming off a recent freshening, having been idle since finishing a tiring eighth over soft ground in Arlington Park's Grade 3 Modesty Handicap on July 22.

Trained by Marty Wolfson, who is sporting a not-so-shabby 35 percent win mark himself during the current session, Potra Clasica has won a pair of turf stakes here this year, including the Hollywood Wildcat Breeders' Cup Handicap over Formal Miss on April 29.

Formal Miss has been the workhorse of the local filly and mare turf division at Calder this season, earning 2 wins and 2 seconds in stakes from 7 starts.

Round one of boxing tournament a success

Gulfstream Park hosted the first of several professional boxing cards it has scheduled through the end of the 2007 session on Thursday evening, with the seven matches drawing a small but enthusiastic crowd that included trainers Ian Wilkes, Phil Serpe, Steve Margolis, and Chris Gatis along with jockeys Rene Douglas and Eduardo Nunez.

Billed as the Rumble in the Park, the card featured a pair of eight-round light heavyweight elimination bouts, part of a tournament that culminates at Gulfstream in April with the winner being crowned the new IBA light heavyweight champion.

Berry Butler and Danny Santiago both advanced to the next round of the tournament by scoring unanimous victories. Earlier on the card, Stacey Reille won a unanimous decision over Della Hoppe in a women's super bantamweight bout.

"It was a fantastic evening," said Paul Micucci, the president of Gulfstream Park. "We had a very good turnout and the fans obviously enjoyed themselves. Everyone I spoke to, the fans, the media, and the boxers themselves, had nothing but positive comments."