Brave Dave added to his status as one of the country’s top 2-year-old sprinter prospects Saturday with a one-length win over Sr. Quisqueyano in the $125,000 Jack Price Juvenile stakes at Calder.
The victory was Brave Dave’s third in a stakes, with two at Calder and one in Oceanport, N.J.
It came eight days after the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Sprint, which had only five starters and in which Brave Dave might have been one of the favorites.
Owners David Melin and Laurie Plesa chose not to spend the late nomination fees and the costs of sending Brave Dave to Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif.
Instead, the owners and trainer Eddie Plesa Jr., Laurie’s husband, stuck with their plan that called for the Jack Price and sprint stakes for 3-year-olds early next year at Gulfstream Park.
In the Jack Price, Brave Dave continued his pattern of winning gate-to-wire.
He won the seven-furlong race in 1:25.59 under Paco Lopez.
Sr. Quisqueyano tracked Brave Dave in second for most of the race and reduced the margin from 2 1/2 lengths to one length in the final 100 yards.
On Sept. 29, Brave Dave beat Sr. Quisqueyano by 4 3/4 lengths in the six furlong Birdonthewire at Calder.
“The other horse extended us and challenged all the way today,” Eddie Plesa Jr. said. “I don’t think we have seen the best of Brave Dave.
“He has natural speed, but I don’t think he needs to be on the lead.”
Melin and his wife Olga live in Sunny Isles. They named the horse for him.
The Jack Price was one of four Calder stakes for Florida-bred 2-year-olds.
Lopez, in for the day from Churchill Downs, also rode the impressive winner Crumb in the $125,000 Joe O’Farrell Juvenile Fillies.
Crumb, at 5-1, rallied from third place entering the stretch and beat Lavalette Gold by one length in the seven furlong dirt race.
Her fast late run produced a time of 1:25.43 that was 0.16 seconds faster than Brave Dave ran while setting his controlled pace.
The win was the first in a stakes for Crumb, who is trained by Larry Bates.
Calder had two $100,000 turf stakes at 1 1/16 miles for 2-year-olds — with Jose Lezcano riding both winners.
Kanturk Kid, trained by Kathleen O’Connell, rallied from ninth place after a half mile and beat Hardrock Eleven by a neck in the Arthur I. Appleton Juvenile for males.
He won in 1:43.34 on a course listed as firm.
Nicki Starshine, trained by Bill White, defeated Verso a Verso by 3 ¼ lengths in the John Franks Juvenile Fillies. She won in 1:43.52.