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Calder: Mambo Meister Home Again

Quantum Racing Team #1’s 6-year-old gelding Mambo Meister, a longtime Calder fan favorite, won the Spend a Buck Handicap in 2009 and Bonnie Heath Farm’s 6-year-old Mad Flatter invaded from Kentucky to win the race over Mambo Meister last fall, and the two are set for a rematch in Saturday’s renewal.

Jockey Fernando Jara rides Mambo Meister for trainer Phil Gleaves in a field of seven as the winner of more than  $660,000 bids to bounce back from a disappointing trip to Saratoga last month when he finished seventh with a wide trip in the Woodward Stakes (G1) won by Horse of the Year candidate filly Havre de Grace.

All of Mambo Meister’s 11 career victories from 38 starts have come on dirt or turf at Calder, although he has run some very good races out of town, notably finishing a close-up fifth, beaten two lengths for it all, in the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) at Santa Anita in 2009 after winning the Spend a Buck.

A Kentucky-bred by King Cugat, Mambo Meister has won two of five starts this year with a second following a 4 ½ months freshening early this year. His connections were encouraged to try the Woodward after he romped to impressive overnight stakes victories here, scoring by four lengths in the Mecke on June 25 and 11 lengths in the Primal on July 24.

Jockey Jon Court flies in for the mount on Mad Flatter for trainer Jeffrey Thornberry as he did last year when they scored by 6 ½ lengths, but couldn’t reproduce that form when last of 12 in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile at Churchill, although he did stumble at the start.. The Florida homebred son of Flatter finished a game third last out in an open allowance race at Presque Isle Downs on July 28.

Completing the field for the Spend a Buck are Dr. Derek and Kimberly Paul’s Sky Venture, Juan Leyva; Blackacre Farm’s Flatter This, Luis Jurado; Sharyn and Peter Wasiluk, Jr.’s Dinner in Odem, Macelin Manickram; Joseph Arango and Manny Estevez’ Rock Alex, Jose A. Garcia; and Donald Hunt’s Stimulus Plan, Brian Theriot.



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