Whether a Florida-bred wins the $75,000 U Can Do It Handicap during the Summit Preview Day at Calder Saturday obviously is not known yet. But with seven of the 12 fillies and mares set to go the six furlong distance being products of Florida breeders, the numbers are in their favor. The U Can Do It is one of four stakes $75,000 at six furlong stakes on the Calder card Saturday that are prep races for the rich Summit of Speed at Calder July 7. The U Can Do It is for fillies and mares preparing for the Grade 1 Princess Rooney Stakes.
In what looks to be an evenly matched group of distaffers, the Florida-bred Tamarind Hall looks to be among those who will vie for favoritism. Trained by David Fawkes for Brinkerhill Farm LLC, Tamarind Hall was bred in Florida by Eugene Melnyk whose Winding Oaks Farm is in Ocala. Tamarind Hall is also by Graeme Hall, who stands at Winding Oaks.
In one start this year, the 5-year-old mare was a disappointing fourth as the odds-on choice in a May 13 six and one-half furlong allowance race run at Calder on May 13. That popularity with the wagering public was based on Tamarind Hall being among the best female sprinters in the country having finished the year in the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint (G1) at Churchill Downs won by Florida-bred Horse of the Year Musical Romance Nov. 4. Although she finished tenth of 12 after setting the fast early fractions that day, Tamarind Hall had plenty of success in 2011 with four wins, two seconds and two thirds from just 11 starts including a victory in the Grade 3 Bed of Roses Handicap at Belmont Park July 3. Juan Leyva will ride Tamarind Hall who has drawn the rail.
Another Florida-bred who should get plenty of support from the wagering public is Beso Grande, who breaks just to the outside of Tamarind Hall in post two. Trainer Stephen DiMauro is hoping the daughter of Mass Media, who stands at Journeyman Stud in Ocala, will return to the form she had last year when she took the $73,000 Leave Me Alone Stakes at six furlongs at Calder in June and the $75,000 French Village, also at Calder, in May. Bred in Florida by Bruce Talisman of Moreland Hills, Ohio, Beso Grande was fifth, six and one-half lengths behind fellow U Can Do It rivals Callmethesqueeze, Flying Trip and Bessie M in a Calder allowance race May 13, a race in which she got caught four wide on the turn. Fernando Jara will ride.
Since winning that six and one-half furlong allowance race at Calder May 13, Callmethesqueeze came back six days later and was fifth in a one mile, off the turf Sara’s Success Stakes at Calder May 19. Owned by Gary Aiken of Dayton, Ohio who bred Callmethesqueeze in partnership with Adena Springs Farm in Ocala, the 4-year-old filly has shown quite a bit of versatility having won the Judy’s Red Shoes Stakes at 1 1⁄16 miles on the grass, and the Sweettrickydancer Stakes at one mile on a good main track after that race had been taken off the turf. Trained by Manuel Azpurua, the daughter of Awesome Again will be ridden by Ameth Gonzalez and will break from post eight.
Flying Trip has also run since finishing second to Callmethesqueeze, having won a $25,000 starter allowance at Calder May 27 at the U Can Do It distance of six furlongs. Bred in Florida by the Harold J. Plumley of Ocala, Flying Trip currently races for trainer Gilberto J. Zerpa’s Doble Jak Investment LLC based in Weston, Fla. A winner of the six furlong, $65,000 Cassidy Stakes at Calder at age two, Flying Trip returns to stakes competition for the first time since finishing ninth in the $69,000 Frances A. Genter Stakes at one mile on the Calder turf in October. Angel Moreno gets the mount on Flying Trip and will break from post four.
Other Florida-breds in the U Can Do It are Wild About Tiffany, bred by David J. Palmer and Teresa C. Palmer of Jupiter, Fla., whose last win came against $25,000 claimers in a five furlong turf event at Gulfstream Park in March; Indulgence, bred by Adena Springs and a winner of a Keeneland allowance race at five and one-half furlongs on grass in October; and White Merlot, bred by Robert Walsh of Sorrento, Fla., and a winner of a $30,000 overnight handicap at Tampa Bay Downs Feb. 25.
– Photo of Florida-bred Tamarind Hall by Coglianese