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Csaba on course for Harlan's Holiday

Gulfstream Park
Photo: MEC

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."

 

 

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