Updated on 09/15/2011 2:10PM

Top two beatable in Needles


MIAMI ? T V Sports Director and Built Up renew their rivalry, in a full field of 3-year-olds in Saturday's $50,000 Needles Stakes at 1 1/16 miles on the Calder turf.

Despite the presence of T V Sports Director and Built Up, both of whom are stakes winners over the local course this season, the Needles is anything but a two-horse race. The talented and well-matched field also includes Flamingo Stakes runner-up Tour of the Cat, graded stakes-placed Mr. Notebook, and multiple turf winners Vikadontis, With Magic, and Diablo Reigns.

T V Sports Director and Built Up have split four previous meetings. T V Sports Director most recently beat Built Up, scoring a five-length victory in the Roman Brother Stakes on turf July 28. Built Up finished a tiring fourth that day with an unlucky trip.

T V Sports Director returned to the main track for the first time since March in the Unbridled Stakes on Aug. 19, but stopped badly and finished a well-beaten seventh behind Built Up. After the race it was learned that he had suffered a case of the "thumps," a condition which effects a horse's cardiovascular and respiratory systems. The ailment has responded to treatment and T V Sports Director has trained well for the Needles.

The versatile Built Up won the Simply Majestic Stakes on turf at the expense of T V Sports Director on June 2 and has since won both the My Luck Runs North Handicap and the Unbridled on the main track.

Mr. Notebook will make his first start on the local turf course since finishing second behind Proud Man in the Grade 3 Tropical Park Derby on New Year's Day. A speedster, he figures to be on the early pace in the Needles, along with T V Sports Director and Capazuri.

Tour of the Cat comes off an impressive 1 3/4-length win over Built Up in the Rizzi Stakes on a sloppy track Sept. 9. It was his first start since the Simply Majestic three months earlier.

Vikadontis had a three-race win streak on turf snapped Sept. 6, and figures benefit from what shapes up to be a hotly contested pace.

Diablo Reigns comes off a third place finish behind the red-hot Kassar in the Baldski Handicap.