05/19/2009 11:00PM

Wolfson pins Memorial Day hopes on Motovato

Email
Jim Lisa
Motovato looms a key contender in Monday's Memorial Day Handicap.

MIAMI - It's a Bird is listed as the 122-pound highweight for Monday's $100,000 Memorial Day Handicap at Calder, but it will be Finallymadeit who is likely to be the starting highweight under 121 pounds in the Grade 3 event.

It's a Bird, one of three horses trainer Marty Wolfson nominated to the Memorial Day, will pass the race in quest of a more lucrative payday the same afternoon in the Grade 3 Lone Star Handicap.

Wolfson will be represented in the Memorial Day by Motovato, another in his vast stable of stakes-caliber runners. Motovato, scheduled to carry 118 pounds, is coming off a three-quarter-length victory in the Sumter Stakes here on April 25.

Wolfson also nominated the Grade 2-placed You and I Forever to the Memorial Day but said, "He isn't quite ready to run at this point."

You and I Forever, runner-up in the Grade 2 Jerome Handicap in October, has not started since finishing sixth in the Grade 3 Pegasus at the Meadowlands on Oct. 24.

Trained by Javier Negrete, Finallymadeit won the 2008 Memorial Day, which was run as an overnight stakes a year ago. He will be trying to bounce back from an uncharacteristically poor performance in the Sumter, finishing ninth as the 6-5 favorite. Finallymadeit registered an impressive eight-length victory in the Grade 3 Skip Away Handicap and was second behind odds-on favorite Albertus Maximus in the Grade 1 Donn Handicap during a busy winter at Gulfstream Park.

Fifteen horses were nominated to the 1 1/16-mile Memorial Day, including Dream Maestro (119) and Hey Byrn (117), second and third in the Sumter, as well as Grade 2 winner How's Your Halo (117).

O'Neill has strong Azalea candidate

After registering a second straight impressive victory last Sunday at Hollywood Park, Donttellmewhattodo is being pointed for the Grade 3 Azalea Stakes on Summit of Speed Day here, and will also have a prep over the track in the $100,000 Leave Me Alone Stakes on the June 13 Summit Preview card.

Donttellmewhattodo is owned by former all-star catcher Paul LoDuca and Pablo Suarez, and is trained by Doug O'Neill. A 3-year-old daughter of Strong Hope, Donttellmewhattodo followed a sharp 2 3/4-length maiden win at Hollywood with a similarly easy first-level allowance victory going seven furlongs on Sunday, earning an 87 Beyer Speed Figure.

O'Neill is no stranger to Summit of Speed success, having won the Grade 1 Princess Rooney here last year with Mistical Plan. The previous summer, O'Neill used Maryfield's fourth-place finish in the Princess Rooney as a springboard to season-ending victories in the Grade 1 Ballerina and the inaugural Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint.

Two look tough in Friday feature

True Will and Tenacious Gator figure to vie for favoritism in Friday's $25,000 optional claiming feature at seven furlongs for fillies and mares.

True Will won a similar race going 5 1/2 furlongs here earlier this month. True Will was claimed out of the race by trainer George Mikhalides for $16,000 and will wheel right back for the same tag on Friday. The victory was the sixth in 21 starts for True Will, who defeated even better second-level optional claiming competition here last fall.

Tenacious Gator drops out of tougher company and is in under a $16,000 claiming tag for the first time. Tenacious Gator upset the odds-on Matchless Orinda going seven furlongs on March 29 at Gulfstream, but four of her nine wins have come at Calder.

* Saturday's $55,000 Ride the Rails Stakes drew a field of only seven 3-year-olds, led by Livingston Street, who comes into the overnight event off back-to-back wins. Other key contenders include Miles and Miles for trainer Eddie Plesa Jr. and the Greg Griffth-trained recent allowance winner Powerchord.