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Manicero Finds Home on Calder Turf

Leo Azpurua, Jr.’s Manicero, a seven-time stakes-winner, most recently capturing the $75,000 Needles Stakes over the Calder course on Sept. 17 in his turf debut, is the most accomplished of 10 3-year-olds entered in the $75,000 Tropical Park Derby with regular rider Juan Leyva in the saddle.

Manicero had to work hard to hold off New Phoenix Stable’s Star of Sarava by a half-length in the Needles, a rival who will line up again Saturday. The Florida homebred son of Sarava rallied from ninth on the backstretch and made a bold bid through the stretch. Cornelio Velasquez picks up the mount.

A fresh player in the field will be Red Oak Stable’s Glass Art shipping in from Monmouth Park for trainer Gregg Sacco with Jose Ferrer named to ride. The son of Hennessy shows two wins and a second from six tries on turf, most recently winning a ‘non-winners of two’ allowance at Delaware Park on Sept. 20.

Completing the field for the Tropical Park Derby are Platinum Esquestrian Corp.’s The Best Glacier, Alan Benning’s Hold That Camera, Caroni Stable’s Oligarch, Move Horse Inc.’s Too Experience, A. Clare Silva, Jr.’s Majestic Express, William Churly’s Bringbackthemagic and Jose Garoffalo’s Relampago.


Callmethesqueeze Likely Strong Favorite in Frances A. Genter


Gary Aiken’s Callmethesqueeze rallied to a half-length victory in the $75,000 Judy’s Red Shoes Stakes as the 3-to-5 favorite the same afternoon Manicero won the Needles, and the Florida-bred daughter of Awesome Again will be the horse to beat in a field of nine 3-year-old fillies set for the Frances A. Genter Stakes.

Jockey Jose Alvarez retains the mount on Callmethesqueeze for trainer Manny Azpurua, uncle of Manicero’s trainer and co-owner Leo Azpurua. The highly-consistent filly shows four wins and three seconds from nine starts and is three-for-three on turf.

The ‘wild card’ in this field will be Michel Jean Zerolo’s Louvakhova with Luis Saez aboard for trainer Marty Wolfson while making her American debut. The Kentucky-bred daughter of Maria’s Mon has one win and five seconds in as many starts in France, most recently finishing second by a neck at Longchamp on Sept. 17.

Completing the field for the Frances A. Genter are Haras Santa Maria de Araras’ Are Baba, Double Jak Stable’s Flying Trip, A. Clare Silva, Jr.’s Blue Angel Express, Kathleen Amaya’s Lotsa Noodles, Frances Tesher’s Justanoceanaway, J D Farms’ Prize Informant and Continental Racers’ El Bendinat.




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