10/07/2010 3:34PM

Spend a Buck to top Festival of the Sun


MIAMI – The Spend a Buck Handicap, a Win and You’re In race for the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile, will again highlight the undercard for next Saturday’s rich Festival of the Sun program at Calder.

The Spend a Buck lured 14 nominations, including defending champion Mambo Meister. The list also includes a trio of graded stakes tested veterans who have been campaigning up north this summer, Pick Six, March to Victory and Mad Flatter. Both Pick Six and March to Victory are trained by Earnest Oare.

Mad Flatter is unproven on turf but handled the synthetic surface at Arlington Park well enough this summer to win a second-level allowance race and finish a game third behind Gran Estreno and Giant Oak in the Grade 3 Washington Park Handicap.

March to Victory is no stranger to the local grass, having finished a late-running fourth behind Mambo Meister earlier this year in the Grade 3 Miami Mile Handicap. A son of Dixieland Band, he registered his only victory of the campaign by rallying to defeat $50,000 claimers in his 2010 debut at Gulfstream Park.

Other local hopefuls for the Spend a Buck include Cinnamon Road, Imawildandcrazyguy, Riversrunrylee and Sincero.

Chihulykee heads feature

Veteran turf sprinter Chihulykee will take on a field made up almost exclusively of 3-year-olds when he starts as the favorite in Saturday’s $31,600 feature carded under second level optional claiming conditions at five furlongs on the turf.

Chihulykee has not started since he easily defeated a similarly conditioned group of turf sprinters by 2 3/4 lengths on Aug. 14. The win was the first this year for the 6-year-old, who earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 90 in the process, far and away his beset performance of the season.

Chihulykee, who is owned and trained by Steve Budhoo, shows only one published work in the eight weeks since that victory.

Family Holiday turned in a very promising turf debut, leading throughout to win a first level allowance dash for 3-year-olds this winter at Gulfstream Park but was sidelined shortly thereafter because of injury. He returns off a steady series of works that includes a bullet five furlongs over the main track on Sept. 26.

Don’t Say No also flashed high speed winning a first-level optional claiming and allowance dash against older horses over the local course on June 27 but finished well back in two subsequent tries up north. He too owns a black letter work in preparation for first start since Aug. 22.

Double Judge may be the quickest of the 3-year-olds in this lineup but he is unproven on grass. The speedster, a son of D’wildcat, exits a 3 3/4-length first-level allowance win over the main track two weeks earlier, for which he received a career-best 88 Beyer.

Canani, Calabrese get going

Trainer Nick Canani registered the first of what figures to be many victories here this fall for owner Frank Calabrese, sending out Don Misil to an easy victory under jockey Manoel Cruz in Thursday’s opener. Canani and Calabrese brought over 40 horses to south Florida following the recent conclusion of the Arlington Park session and figure to be the favorites to win their respective titles during the upcoming Tropical at Calder meet which begins on Oct. 21.