06/21/2007 11:00PM

Potra Clasica a switch hitter


MIAMI - Versatility is a valued commodity for any racehorse to possess, but nowhere is it more important than in south Florida during the summer rainy season.

Any horse capable of running on both turf and dirt is worth its weight in gold during the majority of the Calder meet, when sudden downpours can render the grass course useless at a moment's notice and daily rains will force the course to close for weeks at a time.

Sunday's main event, the $50,000 Liberada Stakes, is scheduled to be run on a turf course that has seen precious little action since the beginning of the month. The 1 1/16-mile Liberada drew a field of 12 led by Potra Clasica, who, fortunately for owner Charles Miller and trainer Marty Wolfson, is equally adept on turf and dirt.

A 6-year-old Argentine-bred daughter of Potrillon, Potra Clasica has won 2 of 10 starts on grass, including the 2006 Liberada, and 6 of 14 tries on dirt, including the Emergency Nurse Stakes by 2 3/4 widening lengths in her last appearance here on May 6. She also finished third in the Grade 3 Suwannee River Handicap over the Gulfstream Park turf course this winter and put her versatility to good use by capturing the Connie Ann Stakes by nearly eight lengths after the race was switched from the turf to the main track here in December.

Potra Clasica will carry co-highweight of 121 pounds under the allowance conditions of the Liberada and will be ridden by Carlos Olivero. She is one of two horses Wolfson entered in the overnight event along with El Bank Robber, who also owns wins on both grass and dirt.

Sunday's other topweights are Funny Annie and Cat Can Do. Funny Annie finished a tiring fourth in the Emergency Nurse while making just her second start of the season. In her only other outing this year, Funny Annie withstood a stretchlong battle before outlasting Potra Clasica by a head in the Wayward Lass Stakes on Tampa Bay Downs's main track.

Last season Funny Annie, a 4-year-old daughter of Distorted Humor trained by Michael McDonald, captured a second-level allowance over the local turf course.

A change of surface would play right into the hands of trainer Ralph Ziadie and Cat Can Do. She benefited from a similar scenario here last month to win the Sara's Success Stakes by 3 1/2 lengths after the overnight race was moved from the turf to a good, sealed main track due to showers.

Teuflesberg aims for Carry Back

Trainer Jamie Sanders has confirmed that her Kentucky Derby starter Teuflesberg will ship to Calder for the $300,000 Carry Back Stakes on the July 7 Summit of Speed program.

Teuflesberg, who finished 17th in the Derby, is coming off a last-to-first victory in Belmont Park's Grade 2, seven-furlong Woody Stephens Stakes on Belmont Stakes Day. A son of Johannesburg, Teuflesberg has won his last two starts at the six-furlong distance of the Grade 2 Carry Back, including the Sugar Bowl Stakes at Fair Grounds.

Nominations for all eight Summit of Speed Stakes were to close Saturday.

Close races for jockey and trainer

The battles for leading jockey and trainer honors for the 2007 Calder meet continue to be tight ones.

Elvis Trujillo's victory aboard Tale of a Monster for trainer Wesley Ward in Friday's opener gave him 44 wins for the meet and put him just two behind Manoel Cruz atop the rider standings.

Kirk Ziadie entered Friday's card with 17 winners, one more than Kathleen O'Connell and defending training champion Bill White, who is sending out winners at an outstanding 37 percent clip this meet.