05/12/2005 12:00AM

True Love's Secret back on favorite course

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MIAMI - Grass horses are usually resilient and can be territorial as well. A case in point is the 8-year-old True Love's Secret, who returns to his favorite course as the one to beat in Saturday's $40,000 Reappeal Stakes at Calder. A dozen grass specialists will run in the five-furlong overnight turf stakes.

True Love's Secret has won 17 races in his long career. All but one of them has come on the grass and a dozen of them came on his home course at Calder. A son of the Irish-bred stallion Desert Secret, True Love's Secret was bred by and races for his owner, Robert Bakerman. True Love's Secret has earned nearly $424,000 in a career that has spanned six years and 57 starts. He is trained by Rudy Wolfendale.

made only two starts at Calder in 2004, finishing a tiring third in the Trippi Stakes and eighth in the Calder Turf Sprint Handicap.

True Love's Secret took an eight-month break following the Calder Turf Sprint, and made four appearances earlier this year at Gulfstream, including a second-place finish in the Yankee Affair Stakes, which he won in 2004. He was also second after an extended pace battle when wheeled back just 12 days later against high-priced claiming horses.

True Love's Secret may face his stiffest opposition on Saturday from a couple of familiar rivals, Placido and Callthesheriff, both of whom have also shown a fondness for the Calder turf.

lost all chance when taken up sharply at the break as the 8-5 favorite against True Love's Secret when the pair met in a $50,000-$40,000 claiming race on April 21. Placido had reeled off three consecutive five-furlong grass victories to open his campaign, including a first-level allowance win at Calder Jan. 2.

and True Love's Secret have met in seven consecutive races dating back to the 2004 Yankee Affair. True Love's Secret has gotten the better of Callthesheriff in all but one of those matchups, when upset by Callthesheriff a year ago in the Trippi. Callthesheriff has 3 of his 4 career turf wins at Calder, but is poorly drawn in post 12 on Saturday.

Sam's Concorde, who has also done his best over the Calder grass, should be the one to catch in the Reappeal if he comes away running from the hedge. Other key contenders include Scrubs, Gin Rummy Champ, Prince Alphie, and Simmer.