12/31/2007 1:00AM

Turf dash draws strong field

EmailMIAMI - The long Calder racing season, which began April 25, ends Wednesday with a 12-race program highlighted by a $35,000 allowance race on the grass that brings together a stakes-quality field.

Lord Robyn, Not Acclaim, and Hollywood Left, three of the leaders of the local division, will attempt to defend their home turf against Midwest invader Chihulykee and former Grade 3 grass winner Around the Cape in the five-furlong dash, which drew a field of nine including Blue Pepsi Lodge, who is entered for the main track only.

Lord Robyn has not started since finishing third behind Dead Red and Mach Ride in the most important grass sprint of the local season, the Turf Sprint Handicap, on Aug. 11. The son of Robyn Dancer won 2 of 7 starts in 2007, including the Reappeal Stakes in which he easily defeated Not Acclaim by three widening lengths. Lord Robyn will carry high weight of 123 pounds under the allowance conditions of the event, with jockey Eibar Coa aboard.

Not Acclaim has captured 3 of his 7 starts since coming out second best in the Reappeal, each of those wins coming at five furlongs on the turf. Not Acclaim has never finished worse than second in six starts over the local strip and is under the tutelage of Kirk Ziadie, who will try to put a punctuation mark on his second straight Tropical at Calder training title, and third overall, with a win in Wednesday's main event.

Chihulykee could give the home team all they can handle if he runs back to his Kentucky finale, a second-place finish in Churchill Downs's Cherokee Run Handicap on Nov. 4. Trained by Wayne Catalano for his principal owner, Frank Calabrese, Chihulykee had a three-race win streak snapped earlier this fall when he finished fifth trying to stretch out to seven furlongs in Keeneland's Grade 3 Perryville Stakes.

Mach Ride, Golden Spikes work

Mach Ride and Golden Spikes drilled here Monday morning for upcoming stakes engagements across town at Gulfstrean. Mach Ride worked three furlongs in 34.80 seconds in preparation for Saturday's Grade 3 Mr. Prospector Handicap, while Golden Spikes went a half-mile in 47.60 seconds in his final tuneup for his stakes and 3-year-old debut in Saturday's Grade 2 Hutcheson Stakes.

Flying Circle, winner of Churchill Downs's Mariah's Storm Stakes on turf in her 2007 finale, also worked at Calder on Monday, going a bullet five-eighths in 59.60 seconds on the dirt. Flying Circle is expected to make her 2008 debut in Fair Grounds's Dr. A.B. Leggio Memorial on Jan. 12.

Einstein drills at Gulfstream

Einstein, who has not started since losing his rider in the Grade 2 Dixie Stakes at Pimlico on Preakness Day, indicated he's about ready to launch his comeback after working six furlongs in 1:11.82 under jockey Edgar Prado at Gulfstream on Monday.

Einstein gave trainer Helen Pitts the first Grade 1 win of her career when he captured the Gulfstream Park Breeders' Cup Handicap in 2006. He finished third in defense of that title last winter.

"He worked awesome," Pitts said later Monday morning. "He bruised the outside of his cannon bone when trying to avoid the fallen horse in the Dixie, so I decided to just give him some time off. He's getting pretty close to being ready, although I haven't decided when or where his first start might be just yet."

Trainer Dale Romans sent out about half of his Gulfstream-based contingent to work Monday, including Thorn Song and Yates Black Cat, who went five furlongs in 1:00.40 and 1:01, respectively, for Friday's Grade 3 Canadian Turf Handicap. Thorn Song will share high weight of 116 pounds with Kiss the Kid and Host in a full field of 12 drawn for the 1 1/16-mile Canadian.

Calder to stay open for simulcasting

Although live racing won't return to Calder until mid-April, the track will remain open seven days a week for simulcasting. Gulfstream Park, Santa Anita, Aqueduct, Fair Grounds, and Oaklawn Park are among the signals that will be offered daily until live racing resumes.