06/16/2008 11:00PM

Wolfson's finest moment - almost


MIAMI - Last Saturday wasn't the biggest day of Marty Wolfson's training career. But it came pretty close.

Wolfson sent out the winners of four stakes races on Calder's program, including three of the four $100,000 events that served as preps for the rich Summit of Speed card here on July 12. Wolfson, who moved into third place on the all-time stakes victories list at Calder with 45, won the Ponche Handicap with Rockerfeller, the Unbridled Stakes with Golden Spikes, the U Can Do It Handicap with Dixie Dreamer, and the $36,000 Big Bubble overnight stakes with Mysterious Pientre.

Wolfson missed tying the long-standing Calder record for most victories on a single card - five, shared by Arnold Winich (1972) and Stanley Hough (1977) - when American Nova finished third as the favorite in the fifth race.

As for career highlights, Wolfson singled out the 2006 Breeders' Cup Mile at Churchill Downs, won by his horse Miesque's Approval, at odds of 24-1.

"Winning the Breeders' Cup with Miesque's Approval was the biggest day of my career," said Wolfson. "I doubt anything will ever top that for me. But this ranks as second best. I'd never won more than two stakes on a card before Saturday."

Wolfson said all four of his stakes winners had trained well heading into the Summit of Speed Preview program, although he gave little thought to actually coming away with four stakes victories.

"Before a race or any big day I only think about having my horses run well and come back good," said Wolfson. "And fortunately that's what happened. All four are doing nicely since their races, and now we're looking forward to the Summit of Speed."

Rockerfeller was definitely the star of the show. A Live Oak Plantation homebred by Maria's Mon, Rockerfeller had struggled to win his entry-level allowance condition for nearly a year before clearing that hurdle with ease when making his first start for Wolfson here last month. He then proceeded to crush a field comprising all the top sprinters on the grounds in the Ponche, drawing off to a seven-length victory under jockey Javier Santiago. The performance earned him a 106 Beyer Speed Figure and some newfound respect in the division.

"Rockerfeller certainly was underrated going into this race, but he trained so well I was confident he could win," said Wolfson. "He was gelded following his last start at the Fair Grounds, and it took him about a month after he arrived here from the farm in Ocala to really come around. I don't think it was strictly the castration that has led to this type of improvement. I also believe he probably did not care for the racing surfaces at Woodbine and the Fair Grounds and that he really likes this track."

Rockerfeller will now present an imposing local challenge for any out-of-towners looking to ship to Calder for the Grade 2 Smile Sprint Handicap on July 12.

Golden Spikes didn't win with the ease of Rockerfeller. In fact, he was all out to turn back a determined and much improved Gentleman James in the six-furlong Unbridled. But his final time of 1:10.39 was just 0.22 of a second slower than Rockerfeller's clocking over the same distance and good enough for a career-best 103 Beyer.

"At first I didn't realize how impressive a race he had run until I compared his time to Rockerfeller's," said Wolfson. "It's not easy bringing a horse back at six furlongs after they've just run four consecutive races at a mile and one-eighth, and I was really concerned about that prior to the race. I never thought he'd show that kind of early speed, although I don't think he'll need to when he runs back in the Carry Back because there figures to be a lot more pace in that race."

The Grade 2 Carry Back will also be run at six furlongs on July 12.

Wolfson said he's also planning on nominating Shes All Eltish, runner-up in Pimlico's Grade 2 Black-Eyed Susan last month, for the six-furlong, Grade 3 Azalea Stakes here on Summit of Speed Day.

"She's had some very good races sprinting, the race is here on our home track, and it is a Grade 3," said Wolfson. "The prep for the Azalea was very weak on Saturday, and if not many horses ship in, it could come up a really nice spot for her. I'm also monitoring the Mother Goose and Delaware Oaks to see which way Proud Spell and Zaftig go. I'm not sure I want to take them on right now."

Shes All Eltish worked an easy half-mile in 51 seconds here on Monday.

Alpha Charmer sparkles for Gleaves

Alpha Charmer gave trainer Phil Gleaves his second stakes win of the meet when he upset Sunday's $75,000 Georgia Oaks under jockey Manny Cruz. Alpha Charmer, a former claimer, defeated Ashley River by 3 3/4 lengths going 1 1/16 miles on the turf with favored Mysterious Jule a well-beaten third. Gleaves also trains the local stakes winner Mambo Meister.

"It's a real pleasure to train for these clients," said Gleaves, who trains Alpha Charmer for Joe Straus Jr. and Andrew Novak. "I've been training for the Straus family for 21 years."

Bee Cee Cee shows good potential

Bee Cee Cee moved to the top of the local 2-year-old division and became the early favorite in the open division of the Florida Stallion Stakes series when he rallied to an easy win in Sunday's B L's Sweep Stakes. The triumph was the second in as many starts for Bee Cee Cee, a son of Songandaprayer who is owned by J. Robert Harris Jr. and trained by Eddie Plesa Jr. He was ridden to victory by Ariel Smith.

The Florida Stallion series begins with the $100,000 Dr. Fager and Desert Vixen stakes on Aug. 10.