08/11/2005 11:00PM

Summit of Speed's impact on display at the Spa


MIAMI - Calder's racing secretary, Bob Umphrey, spent the first part of his week attending a graded stakes committee meeting in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., where he also received plenty of praise for putting together yet another outstanding Summit of Speed card here earlier this summer.

The latest feather in the Summit of Speed's cap came last weekend at the Spa when Leave Me Alone registered a decisive victory in the Grade 1 Test. In her previous start, Leave Me Alone outgamed Hide and Chic despite an eventful trip to capture the Grade 3 Azalea Breeders' Cup here on the July 9 Summit of Speed card. Hide and Chic doubled Umphrey's pleasure by finishing second in the Test.

"It was quite enjoyable up there this week, with everybody acknowledging what a great card we had once again for the Summit of Speed," said Umphrey.

"Having Leave Me Alone win the Test like that after getting Lost in the Fog down here for the Summit of Speed really caught everybody's attention, There are so few graded 3-year-old filly sprints in the country, so having one that produces the first- and second-place finishers in the Test is a great tribute in itself to the Summit of Speed."

Leave Me Alone was the latest Grade 1 winner to come out of the Summit of Speed. In its six-year history, the Summit of Speed has already proven a springboard for two Breeders' Cup Sprint winners, Orientate in 2002 and Cajun Beat the following season. Orientate won the Smile Sprint in 2002, while Cajun Beat finished second behind Valid Video in the 2003 Carry Back.

Umphrey is also gearing up for what promises to be an action-packed several months on the local front following the lull that regularly follows the Summit of Speed.

"Things usually start picking up and get rocking around here once the Stallion Stakes begins," said Umphrey.

"After the opening legs this weekend, we come back with the second divisions on our Juvenile Showcase card Sept. 3, and three weeks later unveil our newest big-event day, the Festival of the Sun preview, which features a pair of $150,000 stakes for 2-year-olds around two turns."

Ziadie firing on two fronts

Veteran trainer Ralph Ziadie has been red-hot up and down the East Coast over the past several weeks. Ziadie, who has turned out such Grade 1 winners as Sir Bear and current stable star Silver Wagon, won with 6 of the 7 starters he sent out from July 22 through Aug. 8 at Calder, and also won Wednesday's fifth race at Saratoga with 8-1 chance Americani.

Americani, like Silver Wagon, is owned by the Buckram Oak Farm. Ziadie also trains the promising 3-year-old Hot Space for Buckram Oak. Hot Space finished a troubled second behind Lost in the Fog in only his second career start, the Carry Back.

Hot Space was scheduled to make his first start since the Carry Back in an entry-level allowance dash at Saratoga on Saturday.