05/19/2006 11:00PM

Plesa and Castellano team up for sweep


MIAMI - Trainer Eddie Plesa Jr. has shipped a number of his better horses to Monmouth Park for the summer. But he has kept enough good ones at Calder not only to contend for the training title again at this meet but to win a few stakes races as well. That proved to be the case on Saturday when Plesa swept both stakes on the card, taking the $45,000 Big Bubble with Unbridels King and the $45,000 Maryland My Maryland with A.J. Melini.

Unbridels King, a 6-year-old son of Unbridled's Song, finished full of run down the middle of the track to easily overtake the tiring leaders and draw off to a three-length decision over Our Finale in the 1 1/8-mile Big Bubble. The win was the second in a row for Unbridels King, who posted a nose win over third-level allowance company on closing day at Gulfstream Park.

Our Finale rallied to finish second, a neck before Bob's Proud Moment. Keep Cool, the 8-5 favorite, set the pace to midstretch before finishing a tiring fifth.

Unbridels King ($8.40) was ridden by Abel Castellano Jr., who has been Plesa's go-to rider here all meet. The final time was 1:47.37 over a firm course.

Plesa and Castellano teamed up once again several hours later with A.J. Melini ($7.80), taking the race right to defending champ Sir Ray from the outset of 1 3/16-mile Maryland My Maryland. A.J. Melini sprinted right to the lead along the rail in the opening furlong, then extended his advantage en route to a seven-length decision over longshot Hopefortheroses. Sir Ray tired badly after chasing the winner for six furlongs and was eased to the wire.

O'Connell has nice 2-year-old

Trainer Kathleen O'Connell unveiled a good-looking 2-year-old filly, Pleasure Seeker, who rallied from just off the pace to defeat Plesa's speedy Silver Trippi and capture her career debut in a strong field of maidens. Pleasure Seeker, a sister to stakes winner Tap Dancer, covered the 4 1/2 furlongs in a swift 52.92 seconds under jockey Eduardo Nunez.

Office Ghost resumes comeback Monday

Split divisions of a 1 1/16-mile first-level allowance race on the turf highlight Monday's nine-race card.

In the opening division, Office Ghost makes his second start on the comeback trail and might be the slight favorite in a wide-open field that also includes Port Henry, Lonely Groom, Seven Twenty Seven, and I'mroyallymecke'd.

The second and perhaps stronger split is carded as the sixth race and pits the class-dropping Sovereign Honor against Classic Piper, Cut Back, and Man Made.