10/17/2005 11:00PM

In Summation gains respect

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Jim Lisa
Gin Rummy King, Eduardo Nunez up, powers his way to a 5 1/2-length win in Saturday's Criterium at Calder.

MIAMI - In Summation lost the photo to Blazing Rate but won the respect of everybody who watched Saturday's $400,000 In Reality Stakes at Calder, the finale of the open division of the Florida Stallion Stakes.

Ridden by Manoel Cruz, In Summation was pressured every step of the way in the In Reality. He had to fend off Cab, who was sent up by jockey Jerry Bailey to challenge for the early lead. Then he discouraged a bid from the rail-hugging Lucky Chief near midstretch. After being headed by Blazing Rate inside the sixteenth pole, In Summation reasserted himself but was beaten by a head bob.

"He ran his heart out," said Frank Gomez, who trains In Summation. "Everybody took a shot at him, and he kept coming back and coming back. It didn't help us that Jerry ran at us early with Cab. It got us pretty rank running head to head, and Manoel couldn't get him to relax. It probably cost us the race. But you win some and lose some, and I've learned in this business you lose more than you win."

In Summation had captured all five of his previous starts, including the opening two legs of the Florida Stallion Stakes. Gomez said In Summation came out of the In Reality in good order and would likely be pointed for the $150,000 Jack Price Juvenile at seven furlongs on Nov. 12.

"I think we'll keep him sprinting for now," said Gomez. "I think he's a far better sprinter, even though he ran game the other day going a mile and one-sixteenth. Maybe later on down the road we'll try to stretch him out around two turns again."

As for Blazing Rate, the In Reality was his third victory in four career starts, with his only loss coming to In Summation in the seven-furlong Affirmed Stakes. Blazing Rate also captured the Foolish Pleasure Stakes at a mile an 70 yards before the In Reality. A late-developing colt owned by Ralph Sessa, Blazing Rate made all four of his starts in a nine-week span. He will be given a break and won't race again until his 3-year-old season.

"He came out of the race fine, and I just put him on a van and sent him to Mr. Sessa's farm to freshen up for five weeks," said trainer Richard Root on Tuesday. "I was tremendously pleased with all he's done, especially since we asked him to do so much so fast. He's entitled to a little rest now, and when he comes back we'll point him to the big races next winter at Gulfstream."

Gin Rummy King: 96 Beyer

One performance that may have been a bit overlooked on Saturday's card was Gin Rummy King's 5 1/2-length victory over the previously undefeated Forest Danz in the $100,000 Criterium Stakes. Gin Rummy King, a 2-year-old son of Double Honor, covered six furlongs over a sloppy track in 1:10.67 and earned a 96 Beyer Speed Figure. Blazing Rate and In Summation both earned 88 Beyers for the In Reality, which was run over a good strip.

Ritvo holds off Plesa by one

Trainer Tim Ritvo went virtually wire to wire to capture his first Calder training title, but had to hang on to outlast Eddie Plesa Jr. by a single victory, 45-44. Plesa had one last chance to tie Ritvo, with 6-5 Seacliff's Return in Sunday's 10th race, but Seacliff's Return finished second to Touchdown Run.

Eddie Castro won his third straight local jockey championship, posting a record 218 victories during the 120-day session. The previous meet record of 193 victories was set 26 years ago by Walter Guerra. Manoel Cruz finished second.

Castro picked right up where he left off in defense of his Tropical title by winning six races on Monday's card, opening day of the 59-day Tropical at Calder meet, which runs through Jan. 2, 2006. Castro's six winners tied a Tropical mark held by Jacinto Vasquez, Rene Douglas, and Javier Castellano. Earlier this summer, Castro set both a Calder and U.S. record when he won nine races on a single card.

Attendance and handle decline

The 2005 Calder meet showed overall declines, with ontrack attendance down 4 percent from last year and ontrack handle down 6.27 percent. Combined handle was down 8.18 percent. The meet was hurt by both Hurricane Dennis and Hurricane Katrina, which forced the loss of two live racing days and a one-day postponement of one of Calder's signature events, the Summit of Speed.

Chavez to return as regular

Jorge Chavez, who won both the Calder and Tropical at Calder jockey titles in 1988 before going on to bigger and better things in New York, will return to south Florida and begin accepting mounts regularly at Calder beginning Oct. 27.

Chavez will turn his book over to Kevin Meyocks, the son of former New York Racing Association president Terry Meyocks. Kevin Meyocks is also agent for Richard Bracho. Chavez said he plans to remain in the area through the 2006 Gulfstream meet.