06/17/2009 11:00PM

Possetothemax sharp for stakes


MIAMI - In their younger days, the majority of the 11 horses entered for Saturday's $55,000 Reappeal Stakes at Calder were thought of as stakes-caliber performers, although few, if any, of the group have entertained top-level company lately. But one of them will become a stakes winner once again, whether the five-furlong Reappeal goes as scheduled on the turf or not.

Possetothemax is a versatile gelding who may be the most likely of this cast to win. Possetothemax has been competing primarily in the mid-priced claiming and lower allowance ranks of late, although as a 2-year-old he made five stakes starts, getting a victory in the Prairie Meadows Juvenile. Possesstothemax concluded his juvenile campaign in Aqueduct's Capote Stakes, finishing far behind runaway winner Grand Minstrel after forcing the pace into the stretch.

Possetothemax is coming off the best race of any member of the Reappeal field, an easy eight-length, first-level optional claiming win over a sloppy main track June 5. He earned a 100 Beyer Speed Figure for the performance. Possetothemax also can handle grass, having posted a pair of turf victories from eight tries, including a 3 3/4-length tally under similar optional claiming conditions May 1.

Dukes Flying Tiger, who has won stakes on turf and dirt, figures to be a major player, no matter the track conditions. However, there is cause for concern as he has had no published works since finishing a dull ninth under top-level allowance conditions April 23 at Gulfstream Park.

Midnight Ridge outgamed several members of the Reappeal field under second-level optional claiming conditions over a firm course May 9. Midnight Ridge, a distant fourth in his only stakes try last summer at Delaware Park, again figures to contest the early pace along with That's My Man, who has not started since leading throughout to beat $25,000 starter allowance rivals over the Tampa Bay Downs turf course on May 3. That's My Man made stakes starts last summer at Penn National and Monmouth Park.

Little Nick and Lettie's Relic, second and third, respectively, behind Midnight Ridge six weeks earlier, also have plenty of stakes experience. Little Nick was stakes placed at 2 and competed in the Grade 2 Saratoga Special that season, finishing fifth behind Kodiak Kowboy after contesting the pace into the stretch. Lettie's Relic, a more versatile sort, won the five-furlong Hooting Star here last summer after that race was switched from the turf to the dirt.

Rate of Exchange is the only member of the lineup actually coming out of a stakes race and is the only filly in the field. Rate of Exchange finished third behind the odds-on Marina Ballerina after taking the lead in early stretch of the Cool Air on May 30.

Paradise Dancer in for $16K tag

One horse running Saturday with plenty of stakes experience is the 9-year-old Paradise Dancer who will compete under a $16,000 claiming tag in the afternoon's 11th event. Paradise Dancer has made 28 starts against stakes company, the first of which came here in June 2004 and the most recent March 7 at Tampa Bay when he finished third in the Challenger Stakes. In between, the son of Langfuhr won five stakes, with the most important being the Grade 3 Kenny Noe Jr. Handicap in December 2005.

Paradise Dancer is currently owned by Richard Averill and trained by Kirk Ziadie.

Five in a row for Sweetsouthernqueen

Sweetsouthernqueen ($6.20) posted her fifth straight victory and earned every bit of the $12,500 in purse money she won after outgaming 6-5 favorite Ashlee the Great in Thursday's fifth race.

Sweetsouthernqueen, who has won 12 of 18 career starts, appeared destined for second money after being headed by the late-running Ashlee the Great in early stretch of the $25,000 starter allowance race. But the dead game Sweetsouthernqueen re-asserted herself inside the eighth pole to outfinish Ashlee the Great under a rousing ride by Pedro Monterrey Jr.

Sweetsouthernqueen is trained by Vinnie Blengs for owner John Prete.