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Manicero Tries Turf in Needles

Leo Azpurua, Jr.’s 3-year-old colt Manicero, a six-time stakes-winner, is the most accomplished horse in the four stakes to be run on Saturday’s Festival Preview program at Calder Casino & Race Course as he bids to make his turf course debut in the $75,000 Needles Stakes.

The Needles carded at 1 1/16 miles on grass and the $75,000 Judy’s Red Shoes Stakes, companion event for 3-year-old fillies, will share the spotlight on the program with renewals of the $75,000 Foolish Pleasure Stakes and $75,000 Brave Raj Stakes, companion events for 2-year-olds to be run at one mile and 70 yards on the main track, the Brave Raj for fillies.

Jockey Juan Leyva gets a return call on Manicero after they teamed up to score a five-length victory on the $75,000 Naked Greed Stakes going a mile here on Aug. 20, his first start since June 11 and first around two turns after the Naked Greed was forced off turf. A son of Mass Media, Manicero posted his first stakes victory winning the $125,000 Jack Price Juvenile here last November by 8 ¼ lengths.

Manicero faces 11 rival 3-year-olds with Caroni Stable’s Oligarch a serious threat with jockey Daniel Centeno aboard for trainer Rodolfo Garcia if the race goes on turf as scheduled. A son of Congrats purchased for $60,000 at the OBS August yearling sales, Oligarch was a sharp allowance winner over the Calder turf course on July 15.

Oligarch broke his maiden on turf here last October for a $32,000 claiming tag and no takers after two tries on dirt and he finished fifth in the Arthur Appleton Turf in November after holding a clear lead at the eighth pole. He didn’t run again until a good try finishing second in a turf allowance here on June 10 prior to his wire-to-wire victory last out.

Completing the field for the Needles are New Phoenix Stable’s Star of Sarava, Move Horse’s Too Experience, Pablo Pedroza’s Cactus Kid, Jason DaCosta’s Silver Cloud, New Phoenix Stable’s Lake Nona, Platinum Esquestian’s The Best Glacier, Trilogy Stable’s Great Scot, Rapputi Stable’s Ribo Bobo, 35th Street Stable’s The Waco Kid, and Gary and Jeffrey Snoonian’s Bingo Bango Bongo.




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