Festival of the Sun Pick 4 at Calder

Calder’s 2013 Festival of the Sun

Calder's Festival of the SunSaturday, October 12th is Calder’s 22nd annual Festival of the Sun that features 4 stakes races equaling $740,000 in purse money, including the finals of the Florida Stallion Stakes. We will be covering these four races as well as giving our picks for the 5o cent Pick 4 (Races 6-9). This is the signature event at Calder, showcasing their local up-and-coming talent, many of which go on to race in the Breeders’ Cup next month. The races we will be looking at today are the Tropical Park Derby in Race 6, the Florida Stallion My Dear Girl Stakes in Race 7, the Florida Stallion In Reality Stakes for Race 8 and the Frances A Genter Stakes in Race 9.

Tropical Park Derby

Amen KittenThe $70,000 Tropical Park Derby will host a field of 12 three year olds traveling 1 1/8 mile over the turf. The 5/2 morning line favorite is Amen Kitten. Amen Kitten has a lot of Graded stakes experience, but has not won a race in his last 7 starts. Amen Kitten likes to make a late charge and this running style could suit him well here, as a few of the entries will battle for the front-end lead. He has the speed figures to do well in this crowd, but I’m not 100% sold on him. The next horse to consider on the ML is Midnight Cello at 4 to 1. He is coming out of a 2nd place finish in the Needles at Calder on September 14th and looks ready for this race. He has some nice workouts and has shown speed in past races that can match Amen Kitten. For value here, I believe that Padilla has a nice shot at 8 to 1 on the morning line. He didn’t fare well in the Needles running 6th, but it was his first attempt at this distance and I believe he bounced. Prior to that race he’s run some impressive races and should put up a good effort in this one.

Florida Stallion My Dear Girl Stakes

Scandalous ActThe $300,000 Florida Stallion My Dear Girl Stakes is the 7th race on the card at Calder and will host a field of 8 two year old fillies set to run 1 1/16 of a mile. The 4/5 morning line favorite is Scandalous Act and she will be a beast to beat here. She has won 3 of her 4 starts, only bouncing in the JJ’s Dream. Since that race, she has dominated at Calder winning the Florida Stallion Desert Vixen Stakes by 7 ½ lengths and the Florida Stallion Susan’s Girl Stakes by 8 ¾ lengths. This race would be ideal for your Pick 4 with Scandalous Act as a single play, in my opinion. For the sake of value though, let’s look for a possible contender. The only possible contender would have to be Holiday Magic. Holiday Magic is coming out of a win in the Brave Raj Stakes at Calder on September 14th where she won by 4 ¼ lengths. Holiday Magic has shown some steady improvements, but I don’t think she is quite ready to give Scandalous Act that much of a threat. I look for Scandalous Act to run this one from gate to wire and never look back.

Florida Stallion In Reality Stakes

My Brown Eyed GuyRace 8 is the $300,000 Florida Stallion In Reality Stakes and will showcase a field of 10 two year olds traveling 1 1/16 of a mile. The 8/5 favorite on the ML is My Brown Eyed Guy. This young gelding is undefeated in his last three starts, including a 3 ¼ length win in the Florida Stallion Dr. Fager Stakes and a 2 ¼ length win in the Florida Stallion Affirmed Stakes. If he goes out on the lead alone and controls the pace of this one, they’ll have a hard time catching him. 5/2 on the morning line is Best Plan Yet. Best Plan Yet is coming out of his win in the Foolish Pleasure Stakes at Calder where he won by 1 length. He has run 2nd to My Brown Eyed Guy twice now, but looks to improve in this one and should give him a run for it. For value I’m going with D N A Approved. In 4 starts, this young colt has yet to break maiden, but he has made a couple of decent efforts and should show some improvement in this race.

Frances A Genter Stakes

Dreaming of SophiaThe $70,000 Frances A Genter Stakes is the 9th race on the card at Calder is the last race in our Pick 4. A 1 mile turf race, the Frances A Genter Stakes will highlight a field of 12 three year old fillies (with an additional 2 main track only entries). The 5/2 morning line favorite is Dreaming of Sophia. Dreaming of Sophia has 3 stakes wins under her belt including her most recent win in the Judy’s Red Shoes Stakes at Calder by 1 length. For value I like E B Ryder. As of late, E B Ryder hasn’t done as well as what I think she is capable of. I would like to see this filly return to her Calder Oaks form where she just missed first by a nose. I believe she totally bounced in her last race and should come running in this one. For a longshot, I like Four Aria. She is 6 to 1 on the ML, but I feel the public will overlook her due to her lack of stakes experience. She put up a hot speed figure in her last race and stakes experience or not, I look for her to make a huge effort in this one.

Festival of the Sun Pick 4

Race 6—Amen Kitten/Midnight Cello/Padilla

Race 7—Scandalous Act/Holiday Magic

Race 8—My Brown Eyed Guy/Best Plan Yet/D N A Approved

Race 9—Dreaming of Sophia/E B Ryder/Four Aria




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Mike Jr, eldest son of Mike Lane Sr, is co-lead author at and was raised on thoroughbred horse racing and handicapping. Although father and son often butt heads on their selections, they both have much love and admiration for the sport. Mike Jr. brings a new, fresh perspective to horse racing and is often in search of new angles to try.

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