09/30/2009 11:00PM

Spirit Seeker to get serious Calder test


MIAMI - Spirit Seeker has been quietly working her way toward the top of the local 3-year-old filly division with a series of well-graded efforts over the past seven weeks. On Saturday, the vastly improved filly will attempt to continue that climb against a strong field of older rivals that includes several seasoned stakes veteran in the best of four allowance events on a 13-race program at Calder.

Spirit Seeker has posted Beyer Speed Figures ranging from 92 to 96 in her last three starts, winning two of those races and missing a third victory when nailed in the final stride by the red-hot Sweet Repent. Sweet Repent flattered Spirit Seeker's performance by capturing the Judy's Red Shoes Stakes here last weekend.

Spirit Seeker, a homebred daughter of Peace Rules trained by Enrique Alonso for owner Herman Heinlein, showed versatility in her last outing when rating and rallying from off the pace to a 2 3/4-length win in a second-level optional claiming race that came over a sloppy strip. Each of her previous three tallies had come in wire-to-wire fashion.

Spirit Seeker may have to use rating tactics again under apprentice Luis Saez if she's to continue her winning ways, with the stakes winners Seaside Affair and Silk Ridge stretching out around two turns in Saturday's race, run at a mile and 70 yards.

Seaside Affair has made just one start since finishing far back in the Grade 2 Raven Run at Keeneland as a 3-year-old in October 2007. That lone outing came here in May when she was last of six behind stablemate Jessica Is Back going 5 1/2 furlongs under money allowance conditions.

Silk Ridge was the local 2-year-old filly champ here in 2007 but has gone winless ever since. She, too, has been lightly raced this season, having made just three starts in 2009. Her last race came on Aug. 14 when she finished a tiring fifth going seven furlongs under allowance conditions. Like Seaside Affair, Silk Ridge figures to show speed stretching to a mile and 70 yards.

Cat Can Do has been a key player in the local filly and mare handicap division for several seasons, although she remains winless since 2007. Cat Can Do has been stakes placed on numerous occasions during that period, including earlier this year when she was second in the nine-furlong Liberada. Cat Can Do will be ridden by Eibar Coa.