Bruce Hollander and Cary Shapoff’s 3-year-old Csaba breezed an easy
half-mile in 53 3/5 Wednesday morning at Calder for trainer Phil Gleaves
as he is kept on edge for his next start in the $100,000 Harlan’s
Holiday Stakes at Gulfstream Park on Sun., Dec. 16.
“He had a nice easy half and he’ll have another more serious work
here on Monday,” said Gleaves of the son of Kitten’s Joy, who has won
his last two starts at Calder by big margins – the ‘off the turf’
Tropical Park Derby by 14 lengths on Oct. 13 and the Fred Hooper
Handicap (G3) by 7 ¼ lengths on Nov. 24.
“After he won the El Kaiser so impressively last summer (July 21) we
had high hopes for him and took him to Saratoga where he confirmed that
feeling running a very good race in the Hall of Fame Stakes (G2)
finishing second, beaten only a neck by the winner (off the turf race).”
In his next start at Saratoga, Csaba finished a disappointing ninth on
turf in the Equalize Stakes on Aug. 30, a race Gleaves won with
stablemate Miami Cat. “Then he finished seventh in the Pennsylvania
Derby (G2), which was not his best, but he did have some trouble in that
race. In his last two he showed what we hoped he could be.
“With his pedigree I would have bet that he had to be a turf horse.
His full-sister Kitten’s Queen, made her first start at Churchill on
turf not long ago (Nov. 18) for (trainer Wayne) Catalano and she won
big. From now on, the only time he’ll (Csaba) see grass is when he’s
turned out in a paddock."