Updated on 09/15/2011 2:34PM

Tropical Turf, My Charmer draw full fields


MIAMI - Any notion the winter racing season in south Florida does not begin until Gulfstream Park opens on Jan. 3 was put to rest Wednesday when entries were drawn for Saturday's Grand Slam I program. Four stakes worth $100,000 apiece will be run, including the Grade 3 Tropical Park Turf and My Charmer Handicaps.

The Tropical Park Turf drew a full field of 12, plus also-eligibles. Among those in the field for the 1 1/8-mile grass race are Tijiyr, Slew Valley, and Spindrift, all of whom are Grade 1 placed; the consistent Grade 3 winner Crash Course; local heroes Band Is Passing, Mr. Livingston, Unite's Big Red, American Halo, and Groomstick Stock's; and Rize, Medievil Hero, and Profit Option. The also-eligible list is led by Eltawaasul, who finished second as the favorite to Mr. Pleasantfar in the Grade 2 Red Smith Handicap at Aqueduct three weeks ago.

Band Is Passing is the 118-pound highweight in the Tropical Turf. He was second in this race a year ago.

In his last three starts, Slew Valley has finished third in the Sword Dancer Handicap, fifth (beaten just over a length) in the Atto Mile, and 10th in the Canadian International Handicap. All three races are Grade 1. He was also second to King Cugat in the Grade 2 Bowling Green Handicap earlier this year.

Tijiyr finished third in the Grade 1 Manhattan Handicap on June 9 but has started just once since that outing, finishing second behind Dr. Kashnikow in Churchill Downs's River City Handicap on Nov. 11.

Spindrift was third in the 2000 Manhattan. He has not won in five subsequent starts, with his best effort a length loss in Belmont's Grade 2 Knickerbocker Handicap.

Jerry Bailey will ride Spindrift for trainer Bill Mott and Jorge Chavez will handle Tijiyr for Niall O'Callaghan. Both riders have mounts in all four of the stakes on the Grand Slam I card.

The My Charmer Handicap, the Tropical Turf's filly and mare counterpart, also drew a full field of 12 as well as four also-eligibles. Batique will carry high weight of 116 pounds, although Chaste, who finished fourth in the Grade 1 Flower Bowl Handicap and ninth in the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf, may be a slight favorite.

Also on Saturday, 2-year-olds will also have a chance to grab some late season cash in the Three Ring and What a Pleasure stakes.

The 1 1/16-mile Three Ring for juvenile fillies lured only seven and rematches Ms Brookski and Redoubled Miss, who finished a neck apart in that order in the Brave Raj Stakes here in late September. Stormy Frolic, who was beaten two lengths by the top pair in the Brave Raj, has rebounded to win her last two starts by a combined 23 lengths and is a key contender in the Three Ring, as are invaders Wopping and Twilight Ride.

Rulebook, who rallied from far back to finish second behind even-money Booklet in the In Reality division of the Florida Stallion Series, tops a field of eight 2-year-old colts and geldings in the What a Pleasure. Among his rivals are Kentucky shippers Holy Run and Notable Editor.