Teuflesberg top name on Summit card
MIAMI -- To the average fan, the most familiar name on Calder's Summit of Speed card on Saturday won't be competing in either of the main events, the Smile or Princess Rooney handicaps.
The most recognizable horse in the Summit of Speed is Teuflesberg, who two starts back prompted the early pace in the Kentucky Derby and in his most recent appearance overcame an unlucky beginning to upset the Grade 2 Woody Stephens Stakes at Belmont Park.
The well-traveled Teuflesberg will likely be favored under jockey Robby Albarado in Saturday's $300,000 Carry Back Stakes, a six-furlong, Grade 2 dash that drew a field of nine 3-year-olds.
Teuflesberg is trained by ex-jockey Jamie Sanders, a former assistant to Hall of Fame trainer Nick Zito who struck out on her own several years ago. Under Sanders's tutelage, Teuflesberg has captured 5 of 17 starts and earned more than $535,000. The son of Johannesburg also won the Sugar Bowl and Southwest Stakes, finished third in the Grade 3 Rebel and Lecomte, and as a 2-year-old ran in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile.
"The Carry Back has been on our calendar all along," Sanders said Thursday at Calder. "Obviously he's had a tough campaign and run against the best in the country. But he always seems to do well wherever we take him and over every new track he tries, and I think he'll like the Calder surface. I galloped him here this morning and he handled it beautifully."
Although he rallied from far back after stumbling at the break to win the Woody Stephens, Sanders expects to see Teuflesberg closer to the pace in the Carry Back.
"He's matured into a very versatile horse," said Sanders. "The other advantage we have is Robby Albarado. He's only lost on him twice, and in the Lecomte he had some excuses when he was third behind Hard Spun. When he broke poorly in his last race, Robby never got excited, let him gather himself, and he was able to recover and win, and that's important in a race like this."
Teuflesberg will have to beat a field that includes the speedy California invader Black Seventeen and the locally based pair of Yesbyjimminy and Finallymadeit.
Black Seventeen comes off a pair of easy allowance wins over the synthetic track at Hollywood, but will have to prove he can handle the Calder surface.
Yesbyjimminy has won 4 of his 6 starts around one turn over his home course, including a pair of stakes at 2, and also finished second behind the highly regarded Street Magician in Gulfstream Park's seven-furlong Aventura Stakes earlier this season.
Azalea: Time's Mistress on a roll
The Grade 3 Azalea for 3-year-old fillies also drew a field of nine, led by Grade 3 winner Time's Mistress, trained by D. Wayne Lukas. The Kentucky invader rallied to a 1 3/4-length tally in Pimlico's Grade 3 Miss Preakness Stakes on May 18, then returned five weeks later to overcome a tough trip and beat a good field of allowance horses at Churchill Downs.
Calder-based division leader Cher Ami, a much-improved Lost Soldier filly, should prove the one to catch with the home-court advantage. She has won overnight stakes by 10 and 5 1/2 lengths in her last two starts.
Other top contenders include Sheets and Sindy With an S.
Sheets rallied to defeat older horses by a neck at Churchill Downs in her last start. Sindy With an S. has captured 3 of 4 career outings, including the Manhattan Beach Stakes on turf at Hollywood Park on June 2.