Grey & Mazarine offer points toward Kentucky Derby & Oaks
Both races take place at 1 1/16 miles on Polytrack and drew short fields of six.
Captured by 2009 Kentucky Derby upsetter Mine That Bird, the Grey is topped by unbeaten Riker, winner of the Swynford and Colin in his last two starts for trainer Nicholas Gonzalez. Favored at 4-5 on the morning line, the dark bay Include colt shows a recent 5f “bullet” work in preparation and Riker retains the services of Jesse Campbell.
Swynford runner-up Tizzarunner comes next on the morning line for trainer Mark Cass4e. Third when making his debut in the July 25 Colin, the son of freshman sire Tizway defeated maiden special weight rivals the out second time before finishing 2 ½ lengths back of Riker in the September 5 Swynford. Patrick Husbands will be back aboard the dark bay colt.
English invader Kasseopia, who earned his first win by a nine-length margin when making his third career start on the Polytrack at Kempton Park, will make his first North Amrerican appearance. Alan Garcia picks up the mount on the Charlie Fellowes trainee and the chestnut son of Showcasing is 6-1 on the morning line.
Ruck is winless from two starts for Reade Baker but comes next on the morning line at 8-1 following a runner-up finish on September 11. Maiden winners Ultraflame (10-1) and Van Damme (20-1) complete the Grey line-up.
Natalma (G2) runner-up Gamble’s Ghost is the filly to beat in the Mazarine. An 8 ¼-length debut winner over the local Polytrack on August 14, the Josie Carroll-trained daughter of Ghostzapper was favored at 3-2 in the grassy Natalma but left herself too much do behind the impressive Catch a Glimpse, who led all the way. Gamble’s Ghost is an early 4-5 favorite with regular rider Luis Contreras.
Swoop and Strike, a three-length debut scorer in an off-the-turf maiden special weight on August 21, is listed as the 3-1 second choice in her stakes bow. Malcolm Pierce conditions the well-bred Smart Strike filly and Eurico Da Silva has the call.
The remaining Mazarine contestants – Conquest Soprano (9-2), Garavogue Colleen (10-1), Audacious Bear (12-1) and Allwehaveisnow (20-1) – are all exiting maiden tallies.
Riker winning the Swynford courtesy of Woodbine/Mike Burns Photo