How to bet the 2018 Grey Stakes at Woodbine
Jammin Still breaking his maiden on September 28 at Woodbine (c) WEG/Michael Burns Photography
by Dick Powell
This year’s Grey Stakes (Can-G3) from Woodbine will be run three weeks later than last year’s renewal, which means there is only two weeks to go from here to the Breeders’ Cup. At 1 1/16 miles around two turns of Woodbine’s Tapeta main track, it attracted a field of eight two-year-olds. Seven have won one race and one is still a maiden.
GRIMGRINNIN’ GHOST (#1) (20-1) did nothing in two starts on the turf here going one turn when Lasix was added for his switch to Tapeta and he romped by over three lengths going seven furlongs while racing out in the middle of the track. He can save ground after dropping way back and make one run with Skye Chernetz.
TRIPWIRE (#2) (8-1) just missed in his well-bet career debut here going two turns in decent time after he led to the final yards. If he can improve off that effort, he will be right there and looks to have a pace advantage over these from post two. Euricio da Silva wins an amazing 32 percent with his route mounts this year.
INCLUSIVE (#3) (12-1) did little in his career debut going six furlongs on the turf but then tried Tapeta going two turns and was a dead-heat winner after chasing a slow pace relentlessly. Reade Baker wins 14 percent first start after a maiden win and his recent workouts indicate he came out of the race well.
CHUCK WILLIS (#4) (12-1) ships in from England and makes his first start going long, on Tapeta, with first-time Lasix. He shows a fast workout here for this and Mark Casse, who wins 17 percent with first-time Lasix and out of his barn. Rafael Hernandez picks up the mount but is zero for eight riding for Casse lately.
JAMMIN STILL (#5) (4-1) rallied from off the pace to win going away in his career debut going a one-turn mile here. He moves up in class while switching surfaces for Kevin Attard, who wins 18 percent with this surface switch. The colt is by Take Charge Indy and out of the Tale of the Cat mare Cat’s Garden, who is a half-sister to a Grade 1 winner.
SIR WINSTON (#6) (6-1) did nothing on dirt, did nothing on turf, but then tried Tapeta off a two-month layoff and was a dead-heat winner despite having traffic issues. Mark Casse wins 21 percent with his synthetic starters and 26 percent when he rides Jerome Lermyte.
NASHTRICK (#7) (8-5) broke his maiden in his well-bet career debut in a long sprint here on the turf, then came back in the Summer Stakes (Can-G1) and finished third after making a strong middle move. Josie Carroll adds Lasix and blinkers for the first time, and wins 21 percent when she uses Luis Contreras.
SOLIDIFY (#8) (3-1) made up a ton of ground to win going away on the Tapeta here at 6 1/2 furlongs. He stretches out another quarter mile for Reade Baker, who wins 12 percent in this spot. He shows two, solid workouts here for this and looked to be progressing nicely.
Making sense of the Grey Stakes is a challenge since there does not seem to be a lot of pace in here. Tripwire draws inside, showed enough speed to lead through slow fractions in his career debut and a lot of guts to battle to the wire. The only maiden in the field should be able to work out a clear trip with da Silva.
Nashtrick broke his maiden first time out on turf, then was third on it in a Grade 1. His dam won her first three career starts on synthetic tracks, so he should have no trouble handling the surface switch.
Jammin Still broke his maiden first time out on turf here in good time and should be able to make the switch back to the surface that he trains on.
Exacta Key Box: #2 with #5, #7