Csaba’s convincing victory in Saturday’s $75,000 Memorial Handicap was a preview of what to expect this year in the high-profile older-male division at Calder Casino & Race Course.
If trainer Phil Gleaves keeps Csaba at Calder, it will be difficult to beat the 4-year-old colt.
But if Gleaves takes Csaba to Saratoga Race Course and other Northern tracks, the Calder stakes will be wide open among horses such as Megamove, Decisive Moment and Isutalkintome.
That was evident in the Memorial as Csaba took the lead in the final 100 yards and went on to beat Megamove by two lengths in the 1 1/16-mile dirt stakes for 3-year-olds and up.
The runner-up finish was the second in a row in a Calder stakes for Megamove, a fast-improving 4-year-old trained by Ron Spatz.
Csaba won in 1:46.20 on a track listed as fast. The time was sixth fastest in the last 10 runnings of the race.
It was his fourth win in a Calder stakes. He also has two stakes victories at Gulfstream Park and he finished second in last year’s Hall of Fame Stakes at Saratoga.
Csaba was the 3-5 favorite in the Memorial.
With Manoel Cruz riding, he raced in second place behind Decisive Moment for most of the race.
Megamove, at 11-1 and ridden by Jesus Rios, was third after three-quarters of a mile, with Decisive Moment leading in the moderate time of 1:13.76.
Centaur Farms, headed by Vern Heath who lives in Minnesota, owns Megamove.
The Memorial was previously known as the Memorial Day Handicap and was run on that day.
Calder does not have racing this Monday, so it moved the race to Saturday.
Gulfstream and Calder are both scheduled to have racing every Saturday and Sunday through the end of June 2014.
Officials of the two tracks and of their parent companies are scheduled to meet on Tuesday to discuss issues that include finding a way to change their plans and not have any head-to-head racing.
Gulfstream is determined to expand beyond its December-through-early-April racing season.
It has offered Calder an undisclosed amount of money to lease Calder’s racing operations and move some of its race days to Gulfstream.
28 deadline for racetracks to pick their dates for the 12 months beginning July 6, 2013.
On the mend
Rose to Gold, a multiple-stakes winner whose owners live in Davie, is recovering from surgery for bone chips and will not resume racing until this September at the earliest, trainer Sal Santoro said Friday.