01/15/2005 12:00AM

Summit of Speed tops season


MIAMI - Calder Race Course released its stakes schedule for the 2005 Calder and Tropical-at-Calder meetings on Friday, and the upcoming season for the most part mirrors the recently completed campaign.

The 2005 Calder meet will run from April 25 through Oct. 16. The Tropical meeting will begin Oct. 17 and continue until Jan. 2, 2006.

As usual, the schedule will be highlighted by the $1.9 million Summit of Speed program on July 9 and the $1.6 million Festival of the Sun on Oct. 15. Other big-event days will include the Sept. 3 Juvenile Showcase, the $1.2 million Florida Million day on Nov. 12, and Grand Slams I, II, and III in December.

The Summit of Speed features eight sprint stakes. They include two $500,000 races, the Smile Sprint and Princess Rooney handicaps, both Grade 2 events. The $300,000 Azalea Breeders' Cup, a Grade 3, and Carry Back Stakes, a Grade 2, are also on the card.

The Festival of the Sun, Calder's cornerstone event, is highlighted by the $400,000 In Reality and $400,000 My Dear Girl Stakes, finales of the rich Florida Stallion Stakes series.

The only major changes in this year's schedule are the addition of stakes races sponsored by the Georgia Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders' Association and Eclipse Farm of Ocala, Fla.