Updated on 09/17/2011 12:43PM

Predawn Raid steals Hooper

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Jean Raftery
Predawn Raid and jockey Jorge Chavez are all alone at the finish in the $100,000 Fred W. Hooper Handicap (G3) during Grand Slam II at Calder.

MIAMI - Predawn Raid saved the biggest surprise for last on Saturday's Grand Slam II program at Calder when he led throughout to register an easy 4 1/4-length victory over 122-pound highweight Best of the Rest in the $100,000 Fred W. Hooper Handicap. Aeneas, the even- money favorite, finished a well beaten fourth.

Predawn Raid was still eligible for a second-level allowance condition and was making his stakes debut in the Grade 3 Hooper. But with jockey Jorge Chavez aboard for the first time, Predawn Raid quickly sprinted to an easy lead entering the first turn and was allowed to slow the pace ,setting fractions of 49.35 seconds for the half and 1:14.87 for six furlongs. He then surged away from Deeliteful Guy near midstretch and was not threatened thereafter.

Best of the Rest, winless in three previous Hoopers dating back to 1998, was hung wide throughout the 1 1/8-mile race. Still seventh leaving the backstretch, Best of the Rest commenced a rally approaching the quarter pole but could not quite overcome the loss of ground or Predawn Raid's easy lead. Deeliteful Guy was a tiring third.

Defending Hooper champion The Judge Sez Who also turned in a disappointing performance, finishing sixth in the field of nine older horses.

Predawn Raid is trained by Bennie Stutts Jr. for owner-breeder Brian Burns's Mt Joy Stable. He paid $32.80 and completed an all stakes pick four that returned $3,415.80 for a $1 wager.

"When I saw them hang up a half in 49, I thought we could win it," said Stutts. "To tell you the truth I tried to talk Brian out of running in this spot. But he said 'go for it'. I'm 65 and this is the biggest race I've ever won."

Redoubled Miss's nose in front

After watching his Redoubled Miss finish second in each of her four previous starts it was understandable if trainer Ron Spatz's first inclination was that he had probably come out on the short end of the photo finish in Saturday's $100,000 Stage Door Betty Handicap. But Spatz's frustrations quickly ended after the placing judges posted Redoubled Miss as the nose winner over Grab Bag with Pampered Princess another head behind in third.

Redoubled Miss rallied from near the back of the pack and on the extreme outside to narrowly run down both Grab Bag and Pampered Princess in the final strides of the 1 1/16-mile Stage Door Betty. Grab Bag and Pampered Princess battled the length of the stretch before succumbing in the shadow of the wire.

Stormy Frolic, who easily defeated Redoubled Miss winning the 2002 Stage Door Betty, forced the pace for six furlongs before tiring badly to finish a well beaten sixth in a field of nine fillies and mares.

Despite having won just 1 of 8 starts this season, Redoubled Miss was made the favorite and paid $7.40. Eibar Coa rode Redoubled Miss, who ran the distance in 1:46.78 over a fast track.

A daughter of Adhocracy, Redoubled Miss is owned by her breeder, the Centaur Farms.