Romacaca Set to Resume Career in South Beach Next Sunday
Frank Calabrese’s 6-year-old mare Romacaca made the first four starts of her career at Gulfstream Park early in 2009 and is on target to make her 32nd trip to the post in Sunday’s $100,000 South Beach Stakes as the possible favorite in the 7 ½-furlong turf test.
A Florida-bred daughter of Running Stag who has earned $866,000, Romacaca breezed five furlongs in 1:02:85 Sunday morning over a track rated ‘good’ with jockey Francisco Torres in the saddle as she prepares for her first start since posting a wire-to-wire victory by 1 ¾ lengths in the $100,000 Indian Maid Handicap at Hawthorne on Oct. 6.
“She didn’t go all that fast (workout), but the track was a little heavy and the ‘dogs’ were up,” said trainer Danny Miller. “But ‘Cisco’ said she’s never breezed any better for him.” Torres has ridden Romacaca in her last three starts in Chicago, winning the Modesty Handicap (G3) and finishing seventh in the Beverly D Stakes (G1) at Arlington Park in July and August prior to the Indian Maid.
Romacaca currently represents a one-horse stable for Miller, one of several horsemen at Gulfstream this winter who has horses trapped at Hawthorne currently because of the equine herpes virus outbreak first detected not long after the Indian Maid.
“I’ve got 12 horses still up there, five of them that I was going to bring here,” said Miller. “We don’t know when they might get out. Romacaca was consigned to the Fasig-Tipton (November) sales but didn’t meet her reserve and came back to me. She missed a couple of weeks of training, but that won’t be a problem. She’s ready.”
Romacaca is in Miller’s care for the second time in her career. “I got her after she was claimed here ($25,000 on Apr. 17, 2009),” said Miller. She won her next three starts off the claim at Arlington Park, an allowance and two minor stakes races before a game runner-up effort in the Pucker Up Stakes (G3).
“I got her back at Arlington this summer and she won the Modesty," he added. "She ran a good race in the Beverly D (beaten five lengths for it all by the winner), but that was a tougher spot and she was pressed all the way on the lead (by Irish invader Up). She’s matured as she’s gotten older and learned to relax in her races. She went a mile-and-three-sixteenths winning the Modesty, so I don’t think it was just the distance in the Beverly D.”
Pletcher Stable Sugar Swirl Prosects Work at Palm Meadows
Trainer Todd Pletcher has two of the most accomplished filly and mare sprinters nominated for next Saturday’s $100,000 Sugar Swirl Stakes (G3) going six furlongs at Gulfstream Park, and both turned in half-mile workouts at Palm Meadows Sunday morning.
Stud TNT’s Dust and Diamonds was timed an easy half in 52 flat while Mrs. John Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith’s Turbulent Descent shared the ‘bullet’ among 17 horses timed at the distance with a 47 flat clocking as the two 4-year-olds are kept on edge for their first start since the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1) at Santa Anita on Nov. 3.
Dust and Diamonds is a daughter of Vindication and ran a big race to finish second behind probable Eclipse champion Groupie Doll in the seven-furlong Filly & Mare Sprint after a sharp score in the Gallant Bloom Handicap (G2) at Belmont Park on Sept. 22 in her previous starts.
A Florida-bred daughter of Congrats, Turbulent Descent didn’t fire her best shot in the Breeders’ Cup, checking in a well-beaten seventh after finishing fourth behind Diamonds and Dust in the Gallant Bloom. However, she is obviously capable of better as the winner of the Ballerina Stakes (G1) at Saratoga in August and the Test Stakes (G1) there the summer before for previous connections.