09/13/2012 3:07PM

Belmont: Speedy but long-absent Graydar returns in allowance

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Tom Keyser
Graydar will make his first start since April in a first-level allowance at Belmont on Saturday.

ELMONT, N.Y. – While there are a pair of graded turf stakes at Belmont Park Saturday, one of the more intriguing races on the card comes in a first-level allowance on dirt earlier on the 10-race program.

The one-mile, $75,000 first-level allowance drew a field of 11 led by Graydar, a 3-year-old son of Unbridled’s Song who has not raced since winning his career debut at Gulfstream Park by 8 1/2 lengths on Easter Sunday in April.

In a seemingly effortless performance, Graydar, under just a hand ride from Edgar Prado, ran a mile in 1:35.78 and earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 100. Four of the five horses he defeated that day came back to win their next start.

Unfortunately, Graydar went to the sidelines a month later with an unspecified problem.

“He was going slightly off and we couldn’t figure out what it was,” said Randy Gullatt, the racing and farm manager for Twin Creeks Racing Stables, which owns Graydar. “He’s a big, strong colt so we figured the smart thing to do was stop on him, give him a little bit of time. He started to come around well, so we’ll see if we can get back going again.”

Graydar, trained by Todd Pletcher, has put in some sparkling workouts this summer at Saratoga, including a pair of bullet five-furlong moves that were done in company.

Gullatt said that he has no major targets for Graydar this year, though by starting now one would have to think a race like the Grade 1 Cigar Mile in late November at Aqueduct could be a possible long-range goal.

“We think he’s nice. We’ll take one step at a time and evaluate each race and make smart decisions, and try not to get to greedy,” Gullatt said. “Our goal is hopefully he can be a big older horse next year.”

Graydar will break from the outside post in the 11-horse field. He will meet several more experienced runners including Sir Bond, a 7 1/4-length maiden winner at Fair Grounds in his fourth start; the three-time New York-bred winner Saratoga Snacks, Reload, and Chief Energy.