Updated on 09/17/2011 11:21AM

Watch Mr. Livingston, Love the Game


The Calder turf course is groomed to perfection and will be put to good use right away with Friday's main event, the $40,000 Blazing Sword Stakes, which is split into two divisions.

Mr. Livingston, on the comeback trail for the second time in his career, tops a field of 10 plus three also-eligibles in the first and stronger division. A multiple stakes winner, Mr. Livingston returned from a nine-month layoff this winter and enters the Blazing Sword off the best effort of his comeback, having finished second (placed third) in a stakes-caliber field of allowance horses at Gulfstream Park.

Love the Game, a late-striding third in the Cherokee River Turf Classic at Tampa Bay Downs, should benefit from a fast pace and might prove the horse to beat in the second division of the Blazing Sword. Marco's Word, who is riding a three-race win streak, will get tested for class.

Dress to Thrill goes Saturday

A slight tweaking of the stakes schedule will pay quick dividends when trainer Christophe Clement sends out Grade 1 winner Dress to Thrill in Saturday's $150,000 Calder Breeders' Cup Handicap.

"I decided if I moved the race up to the front of the stakes schedule before everybody left to go north, somebody might leave a good filly behind for it," said racing secretary Bob Umphrey. "And as it turns out, Christophe is going to send Dress to Thrill, who won the Matriarch in her last start. With the field that appears to be shaping up, it could give us a chance to get graded status for the race for next season."

Dress to Thrill was a multiple group winner in Ireland last season before coming to this country and finishing eighth in the Breeders' Cup Mile. She closed out her 3-year-old campaign with a head victory over Golden Apples in Hollywood's Grade 1 Matriarch. She was turned over to Clement by trainer Dermot Weld shortly after that race.

Clement had two other nominees to the Calder Breeders' Cup Handicap, including Dedication, who was beaten a half-length after a troubled trip in her U.S. debut in Tampa Bay Downs's Hillsborough Stakes.

"I'd really liked to have run Dedication in this race because she gets in with only 113 pounds, but she's not Breeder's Cup eligible and therefore would only be running for $75,000 or half the purse as the others," said Clement, who added Dedication will instead run in the Citgo Distaff Turf Mile at Churchill Downs on Kentucky Derby Day.

Dress to Thrill will carry high weight of 122 pounds in the Calder Breeders' Cup.

Homeister fifth female Derby rider

Jockey Rosemary Homeister Jr. will become only the fifth female in history with a mount in the Kentucky Derby when she rides Supah Blitz for trainer Manny Tortora.

Homeister has been Supah Blitz's regular rider this season, guiding him to second-place finishes in the Grade 1 Fountain of Youth and Aventura Stakes and a fourth-place finish in the $1 million Florida Derby. Homeister did not learn she would ride the horse in the Derby until earlier this week.

"I just made up my mind whatever Manny decided would be fine with me," said Homeister. "I didn't want to put any pressure on him, so I just sat back and waited to see what would happen. Then he called me at home Monday night and asked me if I was ready to go to the Derby. I was so happy when I got that call. This is amazing. Surreal. The most exciting moment of my career."

Homeister will fly to Louisville on Monday and work Supah Blitz at Churchill Downs the following morning.

"I'm going to stay at Churchill Downs all week to try and get a feel for the track," said Homeister. "Hopefully, I'll be able to pick up a few mounts during the week before the Derby."

Changing of the guard

The Calder jockey colony will have a new look to it this summer. Gone will be two-time defending riding champion Cornelio Velasquez, leaving Homeister, Manny Cruz and Manny Aguilar as the top contenders to win his vacated title.

Among the new faces in the jockeys room when the meet opens Friday will be Jesus Castanon, Emisael Jaramilo, Kevin Krigger, Paul Toscano, Elvis Trujillo, Tommy Turner, and Anthony Schweiker. Also new are Luis Arango and Eddie Castro, the leading overall rider and top apprentice rider, respectively, last year in Panama. Longtime Calder regular Jose Ferrer, who has ridden the past several summers at Monmouth Park, has decided to remain in town for the upcoming meeting.

Among new trainers getting stalls here this meet are Dwayne Knipe, Norman Pointer, Deborah Artz, Charlie Carey, and Jennifer Hayford.

Bill White is the favorite to win his seventh consecutive Calder training title.

* Trainer Milt Wolfson said he was disappointed in The Judge Sez Who's fourth-place finish in Sunday's Grade 3 Skip Away Handicap at Gulfstream Park and is considering trying the multiple stakes winner on the turf.

"He was too far back and never fired," said Wolfson. "It's tough for him over that track anyway. The Memorial Day Handicap will probably be my next major objective, although I might just try him on the turf before then."


RACING DATES: Calder, April 25 through Oct. 24, 128 days; Tropical at Calder, Oct. 25 through Jan. 2, 2004, 53 days

RACING SCHEDULE: Friday through Tuesday through Aug. 31; Thursday through Monday,

Sept. 1-Dec. 15; Wednesday through Tuesday,

Dec. 16-Jan. 2, 2004; No Racing Dec. 24 and

Dec. 25; Simulcasting daily except Dec. 24 and Dec. 25

POST TIME: 12:25 p.m. Eastern; 10 a.m. Breeders' Cup Day, Oct. 25, and 11 a.m. Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 27

ADMISSIONS: grandstand $2, clubhouse $4; children under 17 free when accompanied by a parent

MEET HIGHLIGHT: $1.75 million Summit of Speed, July 12; $1.55 million Festival of the Sun, Oct. 11; $1 million Florida Million, Nov. 15; $400,000 Grand Slam I, Dec. 13; $600,000 Grand Slam II, Dec. 27

LOCATION: On the Dade-Broward county line just north of Pro Player Stadium

PHONE: (305) 625-1311 (Dade); (954) 523-4324 (Broward)

INTERNET: www.calderracecourse.com