06/11/2009 12:00AM

Yesbyjimminy fresh for Ponche

Email

MIAMI - Yesbyjimminy dominated the local sprint division in 2008, concluding the year on a six-race win streak capped by an easy victory in the Grade 3 Kenny Noe Jr. Handicap. But after opening the current campaign with a pair of losses in restricted stakes, Yesbyjimminy will have to prove himself all over again, beginning Saturday in the extremely contentious Ponche Handicap.

The $100,000 Ponche, a stepping-stone to the Grade 2 Smile Sprint, is one of five stakes on Saturday's Summit Preview card, which also includes three other preps for the Summit of Speed program July 11.

A homebred by Yes It's True, Yesbyjimminy banked more than $271,000 for Trilogy Stables and trainer Eddie Plesa Jr. in 2008. He also earned triple-digit Beyer Speed Figures in four of those victories and numbered It's a Bird among his victims in the Kenny Noe. It's a Bird is currently regarded as one of the top handicap horses in the country.

Yesbyjimminy left the comforts of south Florida to try his luck over the artificial surface at Santa Anita in the Sunshine Millions Sprint in his 2009 debut, but wound up getting hung wide and finishing seventh behind Georgie Boy. After Yesbyjimminy was upset as the 3-5 favorite by Hypocrite six weeks later in Gulfstream Park's Sunshine State Stakes, Plesa decided to give his star a little breather and bring him back to his home track during the second half of the year.

"The trip to California took a little out of him, and he wasn't quite himself when he got back," Plesa said. "So I just freshened him up and pointed him for this race as a prep for the Smile. The field came up pretty strong - it's not the typical kind of race you'd expect to see down here in the summer - and he'll be going in as fit as he can be for not running this length of time. I would anticipate he'll improve off this race, but he's definitely in there to win it on Saturday."

Yesbyjimminy will carry 120 pounds in the Ponche, sharing topweight with Grade 2 winner How's Your Halo while conceding a pound to the speedy Americanrevolution.

How's Your Halo upset Ikigai to capture the Grade 2 Richter Scale this winter at Gulfstream Park, but has gone winless in four subsequent starts, including a second-place setback at the hands of Americanrevolution under allowance conditions here May 24. How's Your Halo dropped a pair of decisions to Yesbyjimminy in 2008.

Americanrevolution brings a three-race win streak into the Ponche and is perfect in four starts overall at Calder. He is back with trainer Bill White for the third time in his career, and White makes no bones about his strategy on Saturday.

"We're not going to change his style now," White said. "We'll let him run his race, and if anybody in there wants to go 22 and 44 we'll be glad to accommodate them."

The $75,000 U Can Do It Handicap is the filly and mare counterpart to the Ponche and drew a field of seven hoping to earn themselves a berth in the Grade 1 Princess Rooney Handicap here July 11. Marina Ballerina is the highweight under 120 pounds and will be favored to defeat a field that includes Jessica Is Back (119), Orinoquia (118), and Lady Sprinter (116).

Marina Ballerina returns on short rest after overcoming a very eventful trip to capture the Cool Air Stakes two weeks earlier. The win was the second in as many starts locally for Marina Ballerina, who is trained by Kirk Ziadie.

Jessica Is Back returned to south Florida to outlast Orinoquia under allowance conditions May 24. The outing was her first since being claimed for $50,000 out of an optional claiming race at Aqueduct one month earlier.

California invader Donttellmewhattodo will likely be favored to defeat a well-matched field of seven 3-year-old fillies in the $100,000 Leave Me Alone. Donttellmewhattodo comes in off a pair of easy victories at Hollywood Park this spring. The six-furlong Leave Me Alone will mark her first start on dirt and is a prep for her main goal, the Grade 3 Azalea on Summit of Speed Day.

Former claimer Going to the Sun also shipped in for the Leave Me Alone. She posted a 92 Beyer Speed Figure winning her maiden by more than a dozen lengths at Louisiana Downs on May 15.

The local contingent is led by First Passage, Mine All Mine, and Cassidys Pride, the first three finishers in the Snurb overnight stakes here May 2.

The shortest-price favorite on the card will be You Luckie Mann, who faces just three rivals in the $100,000 Unbridled. You Luckie Mann finished second in both the Spectacular Bid and Sunshine Millions Dash earlier this season and will be wheeling back on just nine days' rest off an easy victory over older allowance horses June 4.