09/07/2006 11:00PM

A Sea Trippi tops rare stakes for filly-mare sprinters

Email

MIAMI - Stakes opportunities for filly and mare sprinters have been rare thus far at the Calder meet, which makes next Saturday's $100,000 U Can Do It Handicap a golden opportunity for the 11 horses nominated.

Aside from overnight stakes, the only added-money dirt sprints for females since the meet began in late April were the Grade 1 Princess Rooney Handicap and the Grade 3 Azalea Breeders' Cup for 3-year-old fillies. Prospective Saint finished second in the Princess Rooney, and Frolicing and A Sea Trippi finished third and fourth in the Azalea.

Prospective Saint would likely have been the odds-on choice for the U Can Do It, but she was not nominated for the race. Her stablemate Frolicing is temporarily sidelined, leaving trainer Ron Spatz's 3-year-old A Sea Trippi as the potential favorite if she goes as expected Saturday.

In the Azalea, A Sea Trippi raced along a deep rail while stalking the lead for the opening five furlongs before weakening in the final furlong to finish fourth, 6 3/4 lengths behind Victorina. In her previous two starts, A Sea Trippi posted a win and a second against her own age group in overnight stakes. She was also second behind Joint Effort earlier this year in Gulfstream Park's Sunshine Million Oaks.

Other top nominees for the U Can Do It include stakes winners Jewels N Gems, Midtown Miss, and Running Bobcats.

Wolfson hoping to correct Frolicing

Trainer Marty Wolfson said he recently sent Frolicing to the farm, where she will be evaluated before hopefully returning here for a late fall and winter campaign.

Frolicing crossed the wire second in the Azalea but was placed third for drifting and causing interference through the stretch, a habit she has displayed in each of her five starts this year.

"We decided to send her back to the farm to see if we can get to the bottom of what has been causing her to drift like that," said Wolfson. "I've been over her with a fine-tooth comb and haven't been able to find anything physically wrong, but I'm guessing there might be a little something we just haven't been able to pick up. Hopefully it will be something small that we can correct so we can get her back here and have her ready to run again by the end of the Tropical meet."

Frolicing, a daughter of Royal Academy, is owned by the Dare to Dream Farm.

Catanese puts sprinters in good spots

A pair of first-level allowance races at six furlongs highlight Sunday's 11-race card, and jockey Manoel Cruz and trainer Joe Catanese are in a good spot to win both events, with Jabbok and Morethanamiracle.

Jabbok may rule a slight favorite among the six horses entered in the eighth race. A 4-year-old son of Rizzi, Jabbok has finished a late-striding second and third in his last two starts and could benefit from an expected early speed duel between Seismatic and recent maiden winner Kite Falcon. The Yips, placed second via a disqualification going a mile in his last start, also figures to be running at the end Sunday, when he turns back in distance.

The potential for another pace battle may also set the stage for Morethanamiracle in the 10th race, which is carded for older fillies and mares. Morethanamiracle rallied to a four-length victory over $10,000 starter allowance company two weeks ago, and she should get a similar pace scenario Sunday with Amandine and Truly Blushed in the lineup.

Amandine makes her first start since June 11, when she scored a 3 1/2-length, wire-to-wire decision over open $16,000 claiming company. A 4-year-old filly by Running Stage, Amandine is among the nominees for the U Can Do It.

Cruz keeps the wins coming

Cruz is coming off another sensational weekend and continues to dominate the jockey standings. He won five races here Sept. 1; four on the Juvenile Showcase card Sept. 2, including both halves of the Florida Stallion Stakes with Straight Faced and Adhrythm; one on Sept. 3; and two on Labor Day, including the Carterista Handicap aboard Rehoboth.

Cruz entered Friday's card with 152 winners during the first 84 days of the spring-summer meeting.