Just as tropical storm Isaac loomed off the southern coast of Florida near Cuba Saturday afternoon before an eventual impact on the mainland, Muro F. Cheeks, L.W. Ferrentino and Calascibetta Racing Stable Inc.’s D’nied Permission also stalked the early leaders before striking in the $125,000 Affirmed division of the Florida Stallion Stakes at Calder Casino and Race Course.
As a part of the Florida Stallion Stakes, the $125,000 Affirmed was restricted to foals sired by nominated Florida Stallions and was run along with the Susan’s Girl division that is restricted to fillies, also on Saturday. Both divisions are at seven furlongs and are part of the 10th annual Juvenile Showcase program, a rich day of racing dedicated entirely to 2-year-olds with an estimated $550,000 in stakes purses to be awarded.
There are three pairs of divisions in the series culminating with the open In Reality division and the My Dear Girl for fillies at 1-1/16 miles at Calder Oct. 13. Each of those races will offer a purse of $300,000.
Breaking well from post six in the Affirmed, jockey Luis Saez quickly placed the Florida-bred D’nied Permission in a comfortable fourth-place position, some seven lengths behind early leaders Dixie High and favorite Two T’s At Two B down the backstretch and just next to long shot G.T. Tabu in third. After a blistering pace that stopped the clock in :22.11 after the first two furlongs and a half-mile in :45.14, Two T’s At Two B and Dixie High had as much as ten lengths on the rest of the field. At the top of the stretch, Two T’s At Two B began to pull away from Dixie High, but Saez began to rally D’nied Permission and caught and passed Two T’s At Two B at the sixteenth pole and was able to hold off the late run by runner-up Joshua’s Comprise. Two T’s At Two B hung on for third with Dixie High fading to sixth.
“The pace scenario was excellent,” trainer Joseph Calascibetta said. “That was our biggest break having [Two T’s At Two B and Dixie High] set that fast pace. That allowed us to come from off the pace like we did.”
It was the the first stakes victory and second win for D’nied Permisison, who was bred in Florida by Irish Eyes Stable of Coconut Creek and Gene and Elaine Vinson’s Verbarctic Farm in Ocala. His only win previous to the Affirmed had come against $32,000 maiden claimers at Calder Jul. 21 to go along with two seconds against $15,000 maidens in June and allowance horses Aug. 11, both at Calder. The $75,950 first-place check in the Affirmed increased his earnings to $96.190. He was purchased for $18,000 out of the Ocala Breeders’ Sales Company August Sale in 2011 out of the consignment of Sharon Biamonte, Agent i.
“I know the horse [jockey Eduardo] Nunez is on [Two T’s At Two B] is tough, and when the other horse [Dixie High] went with him, that was good for me,” Saez said. “I saw that the favorite was still going well, but when he came to mid-stretch, I could tell that he was starting to tire,” Saez said. “And when I asked my horse to run, he was strong and gave me a little more and a little more. And with a sixteenth to go, I knew I was going to win.”
Let go with odds of 21-1, D’nied Permission paid $45.20 for those few supporters with $2 win tickets, $16.40 to place and $4.80 to show. Joshua’s Comprise returned $19.00 to place and $5.00 show as a 25-1 shot while 2-5 favorite Two T’s At Two B paid $2.10 to show. Final time was 1:26.03
Although happy with the results of the Affirmed, Calascibetta said the $300,000 In Reality division of the Florida Stallion Stakes was not a certainty. “We’ll probably try to run him in the Foolish Pleasure Stakes first to see if [D’nied Permission] can go around two turns. He’s not bred to go that far on top [of his pedigree], but his bottom side has much more distance. We’ll see before we run for the $300,000.”
The In Reality is 1 1/16 miles at Calder on Oct. 13.
Photo by Coady