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Trip For A. J. Heads Stage Door Betty

Peter Fuller’s 4-year-old Florida homebred filly Trip for A.J. has won 10 of 22 starts and $553,000 for trainer Milt Wolfson as one of the most versatile and highly accomplished fillies and mares stabled at Calder Casino & Race Course, and looks like the favorite and horse to beat in a field of six drawn for Saturday’s $75,000 Stage Door Betty Handicap.


Jockey Juan Leyva gets a return call on Trip for A.J. in the 1 1/16 miles test after they teamed up for a 8 ¼ lengths win in the ‘off the turf’ Ms Brookski overnight going a mile on July 30. The chestnut daughter of Trippi was won five times on turf and five times on the main track, posting her richest victory winning the $300,000 Sunshine Millions Filly & Mare Turf at Gulfstream Park in late January this year.


One threat to Trip for A.J. in the race will be Paula C Racing Stable’s 4-year-old filly Diosa Indian with Fernando Jara aboard for leading Calder trainer Antonio Sano. The daughter of Indian Charlie finished a game second last out in the  $75,000 Nancy’s Glitter Handicap here on July 23, beaten a length  by Sweet Repent with Trip for A.J. fourth, a week before the latter came back to score in the Ms Brookski.


The ‘wild card’ in the field will be Live Oak Plantation’s 4-year-old Florida homebred Successful Song to be ridden by Luis Jurado for trainer Eddie Plesa, Jr. The daughter of Successful Appeal won three straight over the Calder track in 2010, including the ‘off the turf’ Judy’s Red Shoes Stakes and finished second in the Rampart Stakes (G2) early this season at Gulfstream Park behind Awesome Maria.


Plesa took Successful Song with his division this summer campaigning at Monmouth Park where she ran in three stakes races, finishing third in the Monmouth Beach Stakes in May , third in the Lighthouse Stakes in June and fourth in the  Lady’s Secret Stakes last out in July 31.


Another accomplished contender in the field is Cairoli Stable’s 3-year-old filly Devilish Lady, also trained by Antonio Sano with Daniel Centeno aboard. Sano claimed the daughter of Sweetsouthernsaint for $16,000 at Calder in late September of 2010 and she has gone on to earn most of her $400,000 bankroll since then.


Devilish Lady won the $125,000 Joe O’Farrell Juvenile Fillies on Florida Million day here last fall, a pair of stakes at Tampa Bay Downs in December and January, and posted her most important career victory winning the $150,000 Azalea Stakes (G3) on Summit of Speed day here this summer on July 9, all of those victories sprinting.


Devilish Lady has been  tested around two turns only twice in her career, finishing a game second in the Suncoast Stakes at Tampa Bay in March going one mile and 40 yards and fourth going a mile in the Regal Gal overnight stakes here in late May. She makes her first start since a dull try finishing fifth last out over a ‘sloppy’ track here on Aug. 7 in the Barbs Dancer overnight at 6 ½ furlongs.


Completing the field for the Stage Door Betty are Tonys Investments’ My Pal Chrisy, Luca Panici; and Viking Racing Stable and Bill Kaplan’s Annie Roe, Mario Argueta.



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