With Musical Romance and Trinniberg leading the way, the so-called home team has the star power and the sheer numbers for a potentially huge day at Saturdays Summit of Speed.
As usual, Calder Casino & Race Courses annual day of sprint races will be topped by four graded stakes at six furlongs on dirt.
The popular Calder-stabled Musical Romance, trained by Bill Kaplan, is the likely favorite in the $400,000 Princess Rooney Handicap (Grade 1) for fillies and mares 3 years old and up.
She finished second in last years Princess Rooney and later won the Breeders Cup Filly and Mare Sprint at Churchill Downs and the Eclipse Award for female sprinters.
Trinniberg, widely regarded as the countrys best 3-year-old sprinter, will be the heavy favorite in the $150,000 Carry Back (Grade 3), which is restricted to 3-year-olds.
Owner Shivananda Parbhoo also entered the Calder-based Trinniberg in the $400,000 Smile Sprint Handicap (Grade 2) for 3-year-olds and up.
Parbhoo decided to run Trinniberg in the Carry Back early Friday night.
We think he would win either race, he said. But for now, it is best to keep him with the 3-year-olds and give him more time to develop before he starts facing older horses in the fall.
The winner of the Smile will earn a spot in the Breeders Cup Sprint (Grade 1) at Santa Anita Park on Nov. 3.
Trinniberg has won three graded stakes this year, already earning what Parbhoo expects will be enough points to qualify for the Breeders Cup race.
The Summits other graded stakes is the $150,000 Azalea for 3-year-old fillies.
The four stakes combined will have only four horses that are not regularly stabled at Calder or at training sites in Florida.
In 2011, those races had a combined 11 horses that were shipped in from other states. Calder-based horses won three of last years four races.
The difficult logistics of arranging flights and trainers hesitancy to van horses down from Kentucky and New York amid the multistate heat wave are the main reasons this years Summit has fewer non-Calder horses, Calder general manager John Marshall said.
Nicole H was vanned in from Belmont Park last week and could be the biggest threat to Musical Romance in the Princess Rooney. Kaplan also will send out Wild Bout Tiffany, the winner of the U Can Do It at Calder on June 9.
The 11-horse field has six entrants trained by Marty Wolfson, who told The Daily Racing Form that he plans to run all of them. Wolfsons entrants are Indulgence, Nakano, Golden Mystery, Beloveda, Spectacular Sky and Leopard Rock. Indulgence finished third in last years Princess Rooney.
Nakano and Leopard Rock finished second and third, respectively, in the five-furlong Cool Air Stakes at Calder on June 16.
Nicole H usually races for trainer Michael Hushion. On June 2, she finished second in the Vagrancy Handicap (Grade 2) at Belmont. David Fawkes is training her for the Princess Rooney.
Kaplan said that the 5-year-old Musical Romance has never looked better. She will be ridden by regular jockey Juan Leyva.
The Smile has a 10-horse field, with Indiano, Field Commission and Apriority among the contenders that have raced at Calder.
Gantry is in from New Orleans, where he won three non-graded stakes at the recent Fair Grounds meet.
In the Carry Back, Trinniberg and jockey Willie Martinez can be expected to use their regular tactic of attempting to take the field gate to wire.
If Trinniberg falters, five-time Calder stakes winner Fort Loudon could have the best chance for an upset. He is trained by Stanley Gold and will be ridden by Fernando Jara.
The Azalea will be a rematch from a June 9 Calder stakes for Another Romance and Citizen Advocate.
Another Romance, a Kaplan trainee, rallied from sixth place after a half mile to beat Citizen Advocate by a neck in the six-furlong Leave Me Alone.
Say a Novena, the second-place finisher in two graded sprint stakes at Gulfstream Park this year, and Redbud Road, a winner of three sprint stakes at Calder, will also attract considerable attention from bettors.
Calders Saturday card also has two $100,000 turf stakes that do not have graded status. The Bob Umphrey Turf Sprint is five furlongs for 3-year-olds and up. The Hollywood Wildcat is 7 1/2 furlongs on turf for fillies and mares 3 years old and up.