MIAMI -- Trainer Phil Gleaves has had a year to think about Mad Flatter's one-sided win over his odds-on Mambo Meister in the 2010 Spend A Buck. That day, Mad Flatter cruised to an easy lead and scored by 6 1/4 lengths in a Win and You're In race for the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile.
There will be no free ticket to the Breeders' Cup on the line when Mambo Meister and Mad Flatter meet again Saturday at Calder in the Grade 3 Spend A Buck, but Gleaves is grateful to have the opportunity to reverse last year's setback.
"I'm looking forward to the rematch and for a chance to avenge that defeat," Gleaves said. "Mad Flatter just got away from us last year. We thought there was a lot of speed in the race, and as so often happens when that's the case, everybody takes back and leaves one horse loose on the lead. We'll make sure that doesn't happen again this time."
A multiple Grade 3 winner, Mambo Meister is coming off a seventh-place finish in the Grade 1 Woodward. In his previous start, Mambo Meister ran arguably the best race of his career, earning a 110 Beyer Speed Figure for his win in the Primal overnight stakes.
"He got very unsettled and lathered up in the post parade and behind the gate before the Woodward, and that's not like him, so we'll put a line through that race and move on," Gleaves said. "He's trained like a monster since he got back home from New York. Hopefully, somebody will run with Mad Flatter, but if no other speed materializes, if nobody presses him early, we will."
Mad Flatter finished 12th in the 2010 Dirt Mile and has one win since the Spend A Buck, a mid-level optional claiming and allowance race at Churchill. He has not started since finishing third under allowance conditions at Presque Isle Downs on July 28.
Rock Alex has won three in a row and four of his last five. He could press Mad Flatter during the early stages of the Spend A Buck.
Flatter This won the Band Is Passing Stakes and Darn That Alarm Handicap in his last two starts but exits a disappointing fourth-place finish in an allowance race switched from turf to dirt Sept. 30.
Sky Venture comes off the best race of his career, a 6 1/4-length optional claiming and allowance win for which he received a 93 Beyer Speed Figure on Sept. 16.