08/26/2010 2:00PM

Two-year-old leaders featured in Juvenile Showcase

Email

Gourmet Dinner is perfect in two starts, including a victory in the Dr. Fager Stakes, the first leg of the open division of the Florida Stallion Stakes. Awesome Feather is perfect in three starts, her most recent victory coming in the Desert Vixen division of the Stallion series.

On Saturday, the two leaders of their divisions will be heavily favored when they headline Calder’s Juvenile Showcase program. The entire 13-race card consists of 2-year-old races, including the middle legs of the Stallion Stakes, the $100,000 Affirmed and Susan’s Girl Stakes.

Gourmet Dinner opened his career with a one-length win in a maiden special weight July 17, then returned three weeks later to win the six-furlong Dr. Fager on a sloppy track by a half-length over Grand Shores.

Originally, Gourmet Dinner’s connections toyed with the idea of shipping him to Saratoga for the Grade 1 Forego. They opted for the more conservative route and stayed home for the seven-furlong Affirmed.

Gourmet Dinner’s chances of adding a Dr. Fager victory to his r é sum é were enhanced when neither Grand Shores nor Little Drama entered the Affirmed.

Gourmet Dinner will face five rivals in the Affirmed, led by Vee’s Accolade, who finished third despite trouble in the Dr. Fager. Alley Oop Oop, a distant second behind Little Drama in the Frank Gomez Memorial earlier this summer, stands in for stablemate Grand Shores in the Dr. Fager.

The remainder of the field includes the uncoupled Kathleen O’Connell duo of Watch Me Go and Philourpockets and Rough’n Royal.

Like the Dr. Fager, the Susan’s Girl lured a field of six. Awesome Feather appears to hold a decided edge over her five juvenile filly rivals after her 4 3/4-length triumph in the Desert Vixen.

Blue Eyed Sweetie, an improving filly who has chased Awesome Feather home to no avail in each of her last two starts, and recent maiden breaker Cristal Jak may have the best chances of pulling the upset. Both fillies, however, are also cross-entered in the one-mile Lindsay Frolic.

Mud Honey, Silverest, and Sweetprincesscharm complete the field.

The Affirmed and Susan’s Girl are two of six stakes to be decided on the Juvenile Showcase card.

The five-furlong Fasig Tipton Turf Dash drew a field of 10, none of whom has ever run on grass. Owner-trainer Wesley Ward’s Madman Diaries will go off as the heavy favorite after his 9 1/4-length victory over the synthetic surface in Woodbine’s Victoria Stakes in the spring.

The Catcharisingstar for fillies will also be decided at five furlongs on the turf, and Ward again appears to have the upper hand with the pair of No More Yogi’s and Aroyalsweet. Both have won their maiden races over artificial surfaces.

Figuring out who is capable of staying one mile is the key to the $100,000 Seacliff and its filly counterpart, the $100,000 Lindsay Frolic.

Six colts who posted maiden wins in their last start, including 13 3/4-length winner Rough’n Royal, are among the key contenders in the Seacliff. Blue Eyed Sweetie is likely to be favored if she opts for the Lindsay Frolic over the Susan’s Girl. She could face her stiffest challenge from Beso Grande, a come-from-behind maiden winner going seven furlongs, and Delightful Dawn.