A salty field of 10 speed specialists has lined up to contest the July 7 Smile Sprint Handicap, the headliner of the annual Summit of Speed at Calder Casino and Race Course. The $400,000 six-furlong test has attracted several stakes winners along with a few local horses looking to step up in company.
HRTV will be onsite to cover the Summit of Speed, while the Horse Racing Radio Network will provide live coverage trackside.
Trinniberg is the only sophomore entered in the Smile Sprint, although he has been cross-entered in the Carry Back Stakes, a $150,000 affair limited to 3-year-olds to be run an hour before the Smile Sprint. The son of Teuflesberg is coming off an impressive victory at seven furlongs in the Woody Stephens Stakes at Belmont Park on the Belmont Stakes undercard and also won the Bay Shore Stakes and Swale Stakes this season, both at seven panels, in between an unplaced outing in the Kentucky Derby. Trinniberg has banked $480,000 this year for Shivananda Racing and trainer Bisnath Parboo.
Gantry will break from the outside gate in the Smile Sprint. The 5-year-old gelding by Pulpit ran a solid third behind Shackleford and Amazombie in the Churchill Downs Sprint on the Derby undercard May 5. Before that he won a pair of stakes at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, two of the six victories and $327,685 he's earned in 12 lifetime races for owner Brittlyn Stable and trainer Ron Faucheux.
Field Commission shares the 118-pound highweight status with Gantry and Trinniberg. The 7-year-old Service Stripe horse is a millionaire and was named Canada's champion sprinter in 2009 after taking the Nearctic Stakes and Vigil Stakes that season. Field Commission returned from a year and a half layoff June 9 to win the Ponche Handicap at Calder by daylight in his first start outside Woodbine. He is an intriguing runner here with substantial back class. Curtis Garrison trains.
Apriority, winner of the Mr. Prospector Stakes last year at Gulfstream Park, has knocked heads recently with the major Smile Sprint contenders. He ran sixth in the Churchill Downs Stakes and again finished sixth in the Ponche Handicap. Before those two efforts he was runner-up in the Count Fleet Handicap at Oaklawn Park and also second in a Gulfstream allowance/optional claimer. He is winless in five 2012 starts and will have to pick it up to prosper against this company. The Grand Slam horse runs as a homebred for Donald Dizney and is conditioned by David Fawkes.
Indiano is a dual champion in Panama who thrived at Calder last season, winning the Carry Back Stakes, Unbridled Stakes, and Eillo Stakes. He won a pair of group stakes in Panama, one as a 2-year-old and another at 3, and was named champion imported colt both seasons. However, Indiano has been off since Dec. 31 when he ran third behind Apriority in the Mr. Prospector. Marty Wolfson trains for Stud El Aguila.
Cajun Beeze drew the Smile Sprint rail. He was second in the Florida Sunshine Millions Sprint in January and ran fourth behind Mucho Macho Man in the Gulfstream Park Handicap in March.
Close It Out ran third in the Ponche and won a restricted stakes at Gulfstream last year.
A horse for the course is Artefacto, who won three times last year at Calder as a 3-year-old but has yet to start this season. On the other end of the spectrum is Peb Hughes, who has raced eight times this year, winning three mostly in optional claiming company. Rounding out the field is Atlantic Bull, also making his first 2012 outing. The son of Stormy Atlantic broke his maiden at Calder.