MIAMI - When you're hot you're hot and when you're not you're not. The old adage certainly applied to the $200,000 Carl G. Rose Classic after Too Many Toyz registered his fourth straight victory with a thrilling one-length decision over the 3-5 favorite It's a Bird. The outcome completed a forgettable afternoon for It's a Bird's trainer, Marty Wolfson, and jockey, Julian Leparoux, who failed to win a race despite teaming up with odds-on favorites in four of the eight races on Saturday's Florida Million program at Calder.
Too Many Toyz came into the Carl G. Rose sporting a three-race winning streak but was taking a major step up in class after beating $16,000 optional claiming and allowance opposition. Too Many Toyz, a 6-year-old son of Northern Afleet, raced within easy striking distance of pacesetter It's a Bird from the outset of the nine-furlong Carl G. Rose, engaged that rival around the second turn, and after forging to a short lead in early stretch held tenaciously to post far and away the most important of his 11 career victories. Dream Maestro raced in perfect position himself turning for home but lacked the necessary closing response, finishing another 1 1/2 lengths farther back in third.
Leparoux, who had won three Breeders' Cup races at Santa Anita the previous week, was blanked in six tries on Saturday's program, including a second-place finish aboard the 4-5 favorite Family Foundation in the Arthur Appleton Juvenile Turf.
Too Many Toyz covered nine furlongs in 1:54.88 over a fast but very cuppy track and paid $12.20.
"He's been coming along good for a while now, and when the weather changed a few days ago, it really picked him up," said Luis Olivares, who trains Too Many Toyz for Osed LLC.
Bonnie Heath: Soldier's Dancer gets it done
A year ago, Soldier's Dancer stumbled leaving the starting gate and lost jockey Manny Cruz as the even-money favorite in the $150,000 Bonnie Heath Turf Cup. On Saturday, the stretch-running gelding had a little better luck, rallying from off a predictably slow pace to register a well-deserved half-length victory over Pickapocket in the 1 1/8-mile Bonnie Heath.
Soldier's Dancer, a 5-year-old son of Lost Soldier, was taken back to last during the early stages of the Bonnie Heath. Soldier's Dancer was forced to fan five wide while launching his bid into the stretch before wearing down Pickapocket in the final strides. Pickapocket stalked the slow pace of longshot Mean Sax, forged to a short advantage nearing the eighth pole, and held on until the final 40 yards. Mean Sax outlasted the others to finish third in a scratch-reduced field of six older Florida-breds.
The victory was the third in five starts this season for Soldier's Dancer, who also won the Sunshine Millions Turf and President's Cup at Philadelphia Park this year. The $120,000 first prize swelled his career earnings above the $1.5 million mark.
Soldier's Dancer returned $3.20 after negotiating the distance in 1:48.91 over a firm course.
"We knew going in there was no pace in the race," said trainer Davie Vivian. "We had the same situation in his last race at Philadelphia Park but he overcame it then and did it gain today. He's all class and heart."
Vivian said Soldier's Dancer will not run again until returning to defend his title in the Sunshine Millions Turf at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 30.
Elmer Heubeck: Sweet Repent easily
Sweet Repent, who squeaked out narrow victories in each of her previous two starts, gave her backers a little less stress in Saturday's $200,000 Elmer Heubeck Distaff Handicap at Calder, edging away to a relatively easy 3 1/4-length decision over the 3-5 Jessica Is Back in the co-feature among eight stakes decided on Florida Million Day at Calder.
Sweet Repent, a 3-year-old daughter of Repent, had posted gutsy nose triumphs in both of her last two outings, which included a victory in the Judy's Red Shoes overnight stakes on Sept. 26. With regular rider Manny Cruz aboard, Sweet Repent stalked the pace of Jessica Is Back while well in hand, engaged that rival from the better going away from the rail into the stretch, before edging clear in late stretch. Jessica Is Back was the fourth odds-on favorite ridden by Julien Leparoux and third trained by Marty Wolfson to go down to defeat during the first six stakes on the card.
Sweet Repent is trained by David Braddy for the Buongiorno A Tutti Stable. She covered the distance in 1:46.74 over a fast track and paid $9.
Dudley: Pashito the Che by a Neck
The $150,000 Jack Dudley Sprint Handicap came down to a battle of the Coas, with Eibar Coa aboard the 4-5 favorite, Pashito the Che, outgaming cousin Daniel Daniel and Prince Joshua by a neck to capture the six-furlong dash for older Florida breds. Little Nick finished another 4 1/4 length farther back in third.
Pashito the Che ($3.80) raced well placed just off and outside the pace contested by Prince Joshua and Little Nick. Pashito the Che gained the advantage in early stretch, but Prince Joshua fought on gamely from the deeper going along the rail to fail narrowly. The win was the third in a row, all stakes, for Pashito the Che, a 3-year-old son of Flatter trained by Scott Lake for the partnership of the Tuna Stable and Off the Hook LLC.
"We'll point him for the Sunshine Millions Sprint [Jan. 30] at Gulfstream," said Lake. "He won't run again until then."
Appleton: Bim Bam sets record
Bim Bam, who raced in the shadow of Jackson Bend throughout the Florida Stallion series, showed his versatility when rallying to a record-setting one-length decision over the 4-5 Family Foundation in the $100,000 Arthur Appleton Juvenile Turf. Show the Way J finished third.
Bim Bam finished third behind Jackson Bend, regarded as one of the top 2-year-olds in the country, in all three legs of the Stallion stakes. But Bim Bam, who was making his turf debut in the Appleton, is now undefeated in his last two starts without that nemesis, having won the Foolish Pleasure over the main track earlier this fall as a prelude to Saturday's victory in the Appleton. Bim Bam's final time of 1:41.73 for 1 1/16 miles over the firm course established a stakes record.
Family Foundation, under Leparoux, rallied belatedly after falling back near the rear of the field in the opening furlong of the Appleton.
Bim Bam ($13.40), a homebred son of Deputy Wild Cat, was ridden by Eibar Coa for trainer David Brownlee.
O'Farrell: Carphonic proves best
Carphonic remained undefeated and stamped herself as perhaps the best 2-year-old filly stabled in south Florida by overcoming a terrible trip to capture the $150,000 Joe O'Farrell Juvenile Fillies easily.
A daughter of Lion Heart, Carphonic broke slowly, steadied over heels midway down the backstretch, then had to swing five wide entering the stretch, but was still good enough to overtake pacesetter Rosebud's Ridge en route to a three-length victory over Joanie's Catch. Sweetlalabye, who won two legs of the filly division of the Florida Stallion Stakes, rallied belatedly to be third. Winey Taylor, the 2-1 co-choice along with Carphonic, chased the pace and tired to finish a well-beaten sixth in a field of eight 2-year-old fillies.
Carphonic($6.80) was ridden to victory by Luis Arango for trainer Bill White.
Wild Mia, Hear Ye Hear Ye pay well
Florida Million day began with a couple of real surprises when Wild Mia ($59.60) and Hear Ye Hear Ye ($43.20) won the $100,000 John Franks Juvenile Fillies Turf and $150,000 Jack Price Juvenile, respectively.
Wild Mia, a maiden coming into the day, rallied four wide under jockey Antonio Gallardo to defeat the 24-1 Dancing Rage by a length. Winsockie, the even-money favorite, set the pace and succumbed grudgingly in the final furlong to finish third. Wild Mia is trained by former rider Pete Anderson and gave Gallardo the first stakes win of his U.S. riding career.
Hear Ye Hear Ye altered his usual tactics, rating and rallying from just off the leaders to post a 1 3/4-length decision over pacesetter Good to Be Seen in the seven furlong Jack Price Juvenile. Mr. Green, the 4-5 favorite, raced well placed but lacked a rally and checked home another 3 1/4 lengths farther back in third. Hear Ye Hear Ye is owned by Jacks or Better Farm and trained by Stanley Gold, the same combination that campaigned Jackson Bend before selling the horse privately last month.