Calder winners eye rematches in Stallion Stakes


Special to the Miami Herald

When Best Plan Yet and Holiday Magic entered the winner’s circle on Saturday at Calder Casino & Race Course, their trainers and owners were not just relishing their 2-year-olds’ first stakes wins.

They also were looking ahead to rematches at Calder on Oct. 12 with horses that beat them earlier this summer.

Best Plan Yet prevailed in a three-horse stretch duel and beat Union Cash by a length in the $85,000 Foolish Pleasure for males.

Holiday Magic pulled away to defeat her stablemate Quinnkat by 4 1/4 lengths in the $85,000 Brave Raj. Both races were one mile and 70 yards on the dirt track listed as fast.

Chris Gabel, business manager of Jacks or Better Farms that owns Best Plan Yet, and Bill Kaplan, the trainer of Holiday Magic, each said he expects his Saturday winner will race again on Oct. 12 at Calder.

They will be in the final legs of the Florida Stallion Stakes, at 1 1/16 miles on dirt.

Best Plan Yet will be in the $300,000 In Reality. He will again face My Brown Eyed Guy, who won the first two male division races with Best Plan Yet second both times.

Holiday Magic will race in the $300,000 My Dear Girl. She will attempt to prevent a sweep by Scandalous Act.

Holiday Magic had a second- and a third-place finish in the series’ first two races.

Following Saturday’s win, Kaplan said he expects that Holiday Magic “will get better the longer she goes.”

On Saturday, she was 6-1 in an eight-horse field and won in 1:45.97 under jockey Juan Leyva.

Best Plan Yet, the 7-5 favorite, was ridden by Jeffrey Sanchez and won the Foolish Pleasure in 1:45.43.

Calder Turf Stakes

On Saturday, Calder also had two $70,000 turf stakes for 3-year-olds.

Dreaming of Sophia took the lead about 200 yards from the finish and beat the late-running Nicki Starshine in the Judy’s Red Shoes at 1 1/16 miles for fillies.

The race was the turf debut for Dreaming of Sophia.

But she was the 2-1 favorite, based no doubt on her strong turf pedigree and her high-percentage connections of owner Frank Carl Calabrese and trainer Kirk Ziadie

Antonio Gallardo rode Dreaming of Sophia, who won in 1:43.60 on a course listed as firm.

Dysprosium, in just his second career start, led from gate to wire and won the $70,000 Needles by six lengths over the even-money favorite Midnight Cello.

Dysprosium, at 4-1, was ridden by Sanchez and won in 1:43.82.

“He was slow to mature, and we felt he needed time before we got him started,” said Bill White, who trains Dysprosium.

Gulfstream Stakes

Black Diamond Cat defeated Grande Shores by 5 3/4 lengths in the $100,000 Montbrook Stakes for 3-year-olds and up. Black Diamond Cat won the one-mile dirt race in 1:37.38 under jockey Antonio Gallardo. He is trained by Larry Bates.

Head to Head

Saturday was the start of the 11th consecutive weekend with Calder and Gulfstream racing Saturdays and Sundays.

Gulfstream has had daily all-sources handle of about $2.4 million, compared with about $1.2 million for Calder. The Calder numbers are about $500,000 lower than last year, according to reviews of Equibase Co. charts.

On Saturday, Gulfstream reported total handle of just under $2.1 million for eight races. A review of Equibase Co. charts showed Calder with about $1.3 million for nine races.

Calder vice president and general manager John Marshall said the two tracks are in contact almost daily and that Calder still hopes to find a way to settle the dispute over racing dates and find a way to end same-day racing.

Read more Horse Racing stories from the Miami Herald

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