06/16/2009 11:00PM

Rate Shock primed for rematch

Email
Jim Lisa
Mambo Meister will tackle tougher foes next time at either Saratoga or Monmouth Park.¶

MIAMI - While many tracks around the country are still struggling to fill 2-year-old maiden races, Calder is already way ahead of the curve. So much so, in fact, that Friday's feature will bring together eight juvenile filly maiden winners, all of whom are using the race as a prep for the $100,000 J J'sdream Stakes on July 11.

Wesley Ward gained international acclaim earlier this week for becoming the first U.S. trainer to win a race at Royal Ascot after saddling 2-year-olds Strike the Tiger to upset the Royal Castle Stakes and Jealous Again to capture the Group 2 Queen Mary. But Ward has also been dominant with his juveniles on the local front, a trend that he hopes will continue when he sends out the undefeated Princess Annabel in Friday's five-furlong headliner.

Princess Annabel captured her only start when she rallied to defeat Rate Shock by 1 1/4 lengths in a 4 1/2-furlong maiden special weight sprint on April 26. But trainer Tom Schell, who trains the homebred Rate Shock for owner Chester Bishop, is confident his filly will turn the tables on Princess Annabel in Friday's rematch.

Schell gets his confidence from Rate Shock's most recent performance, a smashing 8 1/4-length maiden victory on May 16 for which she earned a 74 Beyer Speed Figure.

"We're the one to beat on Friday off our last race, not Wesley's filly," said Schell. "My horse got a speed figure 21 points higher than Wesley's horse for winning her maiden. In fact, even Wesley told both me and Chester that he wouldn't beat us next time."

Rate Shock, a daughter of Indian Ocean, couldn't be training better for Friday's rematch with Princess Annabel, having posted a 47.80-second half-mile work since her maiden win.

"She worked in 47 and change and galloped out in 59," said Schell. "So obviously I'm not worried about the extra sixteenth of a mile. This will be a prep for the J J'sdream and then hopefully we'll go on to the Stallion Stakes. Barring complications, I'm hoping she'll be a force at Calder within the 2-year-old filly division this year. Right now, I think she's the nicest 2-year-old filly on the grounds, bar none."

Joanie's Catch proved no match for Princess Annabel and Rate Shock back on April 26 and was a distant second behind Rate Shock when the pair met again three weeks later. But she flattered both of those races in her latest start by bouncing back to dominate maiden special weight opposition by 7 1/4 lengths on May 30.

Princess Annabel is one of four undefeated fillies in Friday's feature attraction, along with Full of Gut, Get Your Shine On, and Miss Delite. Of that group, only Miss Delite did not run for a claiming price in her debut.

Mambo Meister headed out of town

Lost in all the excitement of the four Summit of Speed prep races on last Saturday's program was the performance of Mambo Meister, who registered a one-length triumph over a rail-skimming Baron Von Tap in the $55,000 Blazing Sword Stakes.

The win was the second straight for Mambo Meister, who also rallied to take the off-the-turf Big Bubble overnight stakes four weeks earlier.

"I was very impressed with his performance on Saturday," said Gleaves, "especially the way he came home his final quarter in 24 and 2 over a less than firm course."

Gleaves said Mambo Meister will likely get a brief freshening before returning to action out of town later this summer.

"We'll give him a bit of a break right now and probably point for a race at either Saratoga or Monmouth Park in seven weeks," said Gleaves, referring to the Fourstardave at the Spa or the Oceanport at Monmouth Park, both on Aug 2. "I think he deserves to step up now and see what he can do against those types of horses."