06/08/2009 11:00PM

You Luckie Mann scares 'em off

Jim Lisa
Yesbyjimminy (above) will start as the co-highweight with How's Your Halo in Saturday's Ponche Handicap.

MIAMI - The key number for Saturday's 12-race program at Calder is four. As in four prep races for the track's marquee event, the Summit of Speed on July 11. And the mere four starters who will go postward in the $100,000 Unbridled Stakes, the final major local tune-up for the Grade 2 Carry Back Stakes on the Summit of Speed card.

A number of factors were responsible for the surprisingly sparse turnout for the six-furlong Unbridled, not the least of which is the imposing presence of You Luckie Mann. Among the top 3-year-old sprinters on the East Coast this winter, he will go postward in the neighborhood of 1-5 in the Unbridled.

"It's always nice to have a horse like You Luckie Mann in the race, but naturally there were a couple of guys who just didn't want to run against him. At least not at this time," racing secretary Mike Anifantis said. "In addition, Kirk Ziadie had a couple of 3-year-olds he had planned on entering for the Unbridled, but both came down with little minor issues and had to pass the race. Otherwise, I thought the Preview card came up very strong and should be a good lead-in to the Summit of Speed here next month."

The best race of the day could be the $75,000 Ponche Handicap, which lured three of the four top sprinters stabled on the grounds. Only Ikigai is passing this test.

Yesbyjimminy, who dominated the local sprint division a year ago, will share high weight of 120 pounds in the six-furlong Ponche with How's Your Halo, already a Grade 2 winner this year. They'll be joined in the starting gate by Americanrevolution (119), who is undefeated in four starts over the Calder strip and in all six tries in south Florida, including a pair of one-sided wins at Gulfstream Park.

The Ponche is a prep for the Grade 2 Smile.

Saturday's $75,000 U Can Do It Handicap will feature Marina Ballerina, who has captured her only two starts at Calder, including the Cool Air Stakes a week ago. She will carry top weight of 120 pounds against a group that includes recent allowance winner Jessica Is Back (119), Orinoquia (118), and Lady Sprinter.

The U Can Do It serves as a prep for Calder's only Grade 1 race, the $350,000 Princess Rooney Handicap.

The $100,000 Leave Me Alone Stakes lured an interesting mix of locals and ship-ins led by the California-based Donttellmewhattodo, who comes in for trainer Doug O'Neill with the Grade 3 Azalea Stakes on July 11 as her main objective. Going to the Sun arrived earlier this week from Louisiana Downs, where she earned a 92 Beyer Speed Figure winning her maiden by a dozen lengths on May 15.

Awaiting the two invaders are First Passage, Mine All Mine, and Cassidys Pride, the first three finishers in the Snurb overnight stakes on May 2.

Mine All Mine shipped in from Kentucky to make her 3-year-old debut in the Snurb. First Passage is a $1.2 million Giant's Causeway filly who has won 2 of her 3 starts in the United States. Cassidys Pride added blinkers when bouncing out of the Snurb to dominate older second-level optional claiming opposition May 30.

Lopez returning to ride four stakes

Four also is a key number for reigning Calder riding champion Paco Lopez, who returns to south Florida for the first time this summer to ride in four stakes on Saturday. Lopez, the 2008 Eclipse Award-winning apprentice, will be aboard Yesbyjimminy in the Ponche, Marina Ballerina in the U Can Do It, Mine All Mine in the Leave Me Alone, and Rehoboth in the Blazing Sword overnight stakes.

Paradise Dancer better on dirt

Five-time stakes winner Paradise Dancer may have lost a couple of steps over the past season, but he's still good enough to be considered among the horses to beat in Thursday's $26,000 allowance feature, which is scheduled for a mile on the turf.

Now 9, Paradise Dancer placed in a pair of overnight stakes and won a second-level optional claimer at Tampa this winter. He'll be offered for a $25,000 claiming tag Thursday, the same price he ran for when finishing third as the even-money favorite on May 17.

Paradise Dancer's most important victory came in the 2007 Kenny Noe Jr. Handicap, when he outfinished Finallymadeit, currently the leader of the local handicap division, to post his only graded stakes victory. Paradise Dancer also finished second earlier that year behind Mach Ride in the Grade 2 Smile Sprint.

As has been the case with all turf races carded here over the past month, weather will be the key to Thursday's feature. Paradise Dancer has never won in eight career starts on grass, although he has hit the board six times. His chances would obviously be enhanced should the race be switched from the grass to the main track. If the race does stay on the grass, Ziadie might hold an even stronger hand with turf specialist Gold Pageantry.

Mean Sax and High Ceiling should be dangerous no matter the surface. Mean Sax is coming off a pair of sharp second-place finishes on the turf, and posted a career-best 90 Beyer winning an allowance race here in his 2008 finale. High Ceiling led until late stretch before being picked up by Nathan Ridge in a $25,000 claiming event that was switched from the turf to the dirt on May 17.

Cruz, Santiago win four each

Leading jockey Manny Cruz and fellow veteran Javier Santiago put on quite a show here last Saturday, each winning four races on the card.

Cruz solidified his hold on the top spot in the local standings with his four-bagger. He'll enter Thursday's action with 48 victories, 20 more than his nearest pursuer, Jeffrey Sanchez.

Santiago's outburst on Saturday moved him up to fourth in the standings with 19 wins, including a gate-to-wire victory aboard Eclisse in the Liberada Stakes.