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Electrify gets some water after winning the Fred W. Hooper Handicap

W.L. McKnight and La Prevoyante Handicaps

2007 Fred W. Hooper and Kenny Noe Jr. Handicaps

Date: 12/15/07

There were four graded stakes races conducted at Calder Race Course in Miami on Saturday as part of their "Grand Slam II" promotion, two of which were contested on the main track. Conditions were ideal with cloudy skies and temperatures in the 80's. The $100,000 Fred W. Hooper Handicap (G3) featured a field of 12 older horses going 1 1/8 miles. Padua Stables homebred Electrify was sent off as the 5-2 favorite, coming off a win in the Carl Rose Classic, over 9-2 second choice Imawildandcrazyguy, who was second to Electrify in the same race. 5-1 Golden Strategy, winner of the Jackie Wackie but a distant 11th in the Red Smith last time out, rounded out the top three on the toteboard.

Electrify draws away from Summer Book and Imawildandcrazyguy in the stretch

Golden Strategy battled on the pace with 69-1 Pop Goes The Tiger through fractions of 23.54, 47.80, and 1:12.87, but the pacesetters tired themselves out at the top of the stretch, setting the race up for the closers. Favorite Electrify, who had settled in midpack sixth early, split horses on the far turn and took over the lead inside the 3/16 pole, opening up a 2 length lead in mid-stretch after a mile in 1:39.18. 8-1 Summer Book put in a late charge three-wide but was left with too much ground to make up, as Electrify easily drew away to a 2 3/4 length win in 1:52.56 over the fast track. It was another 1/2 a length back to Imawildandcrazyguy.

 #  Horse                Jockey          Win  Place   Show
11  Electrify            Trujillo       7.40   4.00   2.40
10  Summer Book          Castro                7.60   6.00
 9  Imawildandcrazyguy   Cruz                         3.20

$2 Exacta  11-10               56.00
$2 Trifecta 11-10-9           124.00
$1 Superfecta 11-10-9-2     1,256.20
Winning Time:  1:52.56
Results Chart

Electrify in the winner's circle. His trainer Eddie Plesa Jr. said, "I had two concerns going into the race the post (11) and giving away some weight, but it worked out fine and Elvis was able to get him positioned well in behind the jam of horses up front. Hes gotten better as the season has gone along, running some hard races. I think having him gelded before he came back this year has certainly helped him. Its also great to have some luck in this race this time. Ive had horses have trouble and get beat in it several times over the years as favorites. Were still looking at the Sunshine Millions for him next, which is also where were going with Gottcha Gold."

Left: Electrify returns after the race.Electrify in the paddock.

Right: Electrify in the paddock. His jockey Elvis Trujillo said, "Mr. Plesa told me to ride him like I own him. I know this horse pretty well and I just thought that it was most important today to have good position, which we did. I felt there would be some horses finishing well in the stretch and it would benefit from getting the jump on them turning for home."

Left: Second place finisher Summer Book in the paddock. The Frank Brothers trainee was rated between horses in midpack fifth early under jockey Rene Douglas, put in a three wide bid on the turn and closed late to get second place. The 6-year-old gelded son of Notebook improved his record to 5 wins, 6 seconds, and 6 thirds in 33 starts, earning $523,522 for owner Greg Besinger.

Right: Third place finisher Imawildandcrazyguy returns after the race. The 3-year-old gelded son of Wild Event was reserved for a half, raced in traffic on the far turn, checked at the top of the stretch but put in a strong late rally to get third under jockey Manoel Cruz. The William Kaplan trainee improved his record to 3 wins, 4 seconds, and 4 thirds in 20 starts, earning $503,875 for owners Lewis Pell and Michael Elgner.

Paradise Dancer (outside) and Finallymadeit duel down the stretch in the Kenny Noe Jr. Handicap

The $100,000 Kenny Noe Jr. Handicap (G3) featured ten older horses sprinting 7 furlongs on the main track. Paradise Dancer, winner of the Go To Will and Blazing Sword stakes was sent off as the 11-10 favorite over 9-2 second choice Storm In May, winless since the Sunshine Millions Dash in January but a close second the Jack Dudley Sprint Handicap last out. 6-1 Finallymadeit, coming off two straight wins in the Jack Dudley and the Radar Love, rounded out the top three on the board.

Finallymadeit battled on the front end with 68-1 Rexson's Rose down the backstretch through a quarter in 22.35 and a half in 45.00, with favorite Paradise Dancer stalking them in third the whole way. Rexson's Rose tired entering the stretch allowing Finallymadeit to open up a 1 1/2 length lead with a furlong to go, getting 3/4 in 1:10.33. However, Paradise Dancer hooked him at the 1/16 pole and after a long drive, put his neck in front to get the hard-fought win in 1:23.46. It was a long 5 1/2 lengths back to 49-1 longshot Finance Minister in third.

 #  Horse                Jockey          Win  Place   Show
 1  Paradise Dancer      Trujillo       4.20   3.00   2.40
 8  Finallymadeit        Nunez                 5.80   4.20
 2  Finance Minister     Chavez                      13.60

$2 Exacta  1-8               21.20
$2 Trifecta 1-8-2           360.40
$1 Superfecta 1-8-2-6     1,254.40
Winning Time:  1:10.33
Results Chart

Jockey Elvis Trujillo and owner Richard Averill high-five after winning the race. His trainer Kirk Ziadie said, "That 3-year-old (Finallymadeit) is a tough cookie, but this old man (Paradise Dancer) is tough, too. Hes getting up there, almost eight (years old), but he can still do it, although you have to space out his races. There was no real (physical) problem during the layoff (July through October), but he needs time off. Well look for another race for him in a couple months."

Left: Paradise Dancer returns after the race.

Right: Paradise Dancer in the paddock before the race. His jockey Elvis Trujillo, who won 3 of the 4 stakes races on the Grand Slam II card, said, "That was a tough one, my horse didnt want to pass Finallymadeit at first, then when he did I figured I had him beat. I cant believe how game they both were. That horse came back at us and all of a sudden, for just a second, I thought we were beat, but my horse was just as game and got the job done."

Left: Second place finisher Finallymadeit in the paddock. The Javier Negrete trainee dueled along the inside for the first 5f under jockey Eduardo Nunez, opened up a clear lead in midstretch, fought gamely late but yielded grudgingly to the winner. The 3-year-old son of Concerto improved his record to 9 wins, 4 seconds, and 3 thirds in 21 starts, earning $379,950 for owner-breeder Rolbea Stables.

Third place finisher Finance Minister returns after the race. The 4-year-old gelded son of Service Stripe was in last place after half a mile, but found room on the inside of the turn to move up on the leaders and rallied belatedly to get third under jockey Jorge Chavez. The Juan Arias trainee improved his record to 3 wins, 0 seconds, and 5 thirds in 19 starts, earning $94,070 for owner-breeder K.K. Jayaraman.

On to the W.L. McKnight Handicap and La Prevoyante Handicap results and photos

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