02/15/2008 12:00AM

Princess Rooney, Smile head $9.4M stakes schedule


Calder Race Course racing secretary Mike Anifantis has released a $9.4 million stakes schedule for the 2008 Calder and Tropical at Calder meetings, a program that will be highlighted by the Grade 1 Princess Rooney Handicap, which this year will become part of the Breeders' Cup "Win and You're In" program along with the Grade 2 Smile Sprint Handicap.

The Princess Rooney and Smile, each offering a purse of $500,000, highlight what has now become Calder's signature event - the Summit of Speed, which will be run July 12. Calder also will unveil a day of four turf stakes worth $1.15 million, called the Turf Million, on April 26. Other big days include the traditional Festival of the Sun during the Calder meet, and the Florida Million and Grand Slam series during the Tropical session.

The Summit of Speed, now in its ninth year, includes six sprint stakes worth $1.8 million. Aside from the Princess Rooney and the Smile, the day includes the Grade 2, $300,000 Carry Back, the Grade 3, $300,000 Azalea, and two $100,000 stakes for 2-year-olds, the Jj'sdream and the Frank Gomez Memorial. Three eventual Breeders' Cup winners have participated in the Summit of Speed over the years, including last year's Filly and Mare Sprint winner, Maryfield.

The 2008 Calder meet will offer two new stakes races, the $300,000 Mairzy Doates Handicap for fillies and mares on Turf Million Day and the $125,000 Leave Me Alone Stakes for 3-year-old fillies, which serves as a prep for the Azalea. Calder also will run the $100,000 Challenge of America Invitational on Nov. 16, which brings together horses foaled in North, South, and Central America.

The 2008 Calder season opens April 21.