Calder: Brave Dave much the best in Birdonthewire

Paco LopezMIAMI – Brave Dave returned to the scene of his maiden win earlier this summer and made it look even easier the second time around, cruising to a 4 3/4-length victory over Sr. Quisqueyano in Saturday’s $100,000 Birdonthewire Stakes for 2-year-olds at Calder.

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Brave Dave launched his career with a 1 1/4-length triumph over Singanothersong going six furlongs here on June 30. Brave Dave shipped north for the summer shortly after his debut, finishing fourth after drifting wide off the final turn in Saratoga’s Grade 2 Sanford before winning the Grade 3 Sapling earlier this month at Monmouth Park.

With regular rider Paco Lopez aboard, Brave Dave broke in stride and quickly opened a clear lead, controlled the pace under confident handling, and was never seriously menaced through the stretch. Sr. Quisqueyano rallied wide to narrowly outfinish Singanothersong for second while suffering his second straight setback after opening his career with three consecutive wins.

Brave Dave, a homebred son of Put It Back, is trained by Eddie Plesa Jr. for his wife, Laurie, and David Mellin. He completed six furlongs in 1:11.51 and paid $3.40.

“There were a couple of legitimate horses in this field,” said Plesa, who viewed the race from his summer base at Monmouth. “It wasn’t like we were coming down there to just take the money. And to watch him perform like this against a group like that makes me all the more confident and validates what I’ve thought about this colt all along.”

Plesa said it is unlikely Brave Dave would be pointed for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Sprint.

“He’s not Breeders’ Cup nominated so it doesn’t really make sense to supplement him into the race,” said Plesa. “It’s a long winter, there are a lot of big races at Gulfstream. And at some point we’ll see if we can stretch him out. I don’t know when I want to do that, but one of these mornings you’ll see him have one of those easy mile works and then we’ll see what’s available.”

Dreaming of Sophia wins stakes debut in Cassidy

Dreaming of Sophia made her stakes debut a winning one, edging away to a two-length victory over the late running Touch Magic in the Cassidy.

Dreaming of Sophia, a homebred daughter of Lewis Michael owned by Frank Calabrese, benefitted from a dream trip under jockey Manoel Cruz. Dreaming of Sophia stalked the early pace of longshot Magical Madam, readily took command leaving the turn, lugged in briefly while well clear approaching the eighth pole, and was not seriously threatened thereafter.

Jewel in the Sky, the 2-1 favorite, was never a factor and finished ninth in a field of 10.

Touch Magic, undefeated in two previous starts, rallied from last after the opening quarter-mile to finish second, a head before the wide-running Crumb.

Trained by Luis Ramirez, Dreaming of Sophia covered six furlongs in 1:12.81 over the fast track and returned $6.40 for her second victory in three career starts.