11/25/2010 12:55PM

Blood tie runs through Kingarvie


ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Altius and Citius rarely have been apart, ever since they were born a day apart. Fittingly, these two sons of the promising freshman sire Old Forester are both contenders in Saturday’s $125,000 Kingarvie Stakes, a 1 1/16-mile route for 2-year-olds at Woodbine Racetrack.

Altius and Citius are both trained by their breeder, Ralph Biamonte. The speedy Altius has been more precocious than the laid-back Citius, who rallied to beat Altius by a head while registering his first victory Nov. 3 in the seven-furlong Frost King Stakes.

Biamonte said the dynamic duo have been inseparable since they were born at James Sabiston’s Longview Farm north of Stouffville, Ontario, in May of 2008.

“Citius is a day older than Altius,” Biamonte said. “They stayed at that farm until I shipped them to Ocala, where they were always right beside each other in the same barn. They were always turned out together. When we sent them to Fort Erie, they were screaming at each other after we put them three stalls apart, so we had to put them together. They came to Woodbine together, and have been beside each other the whole time. They’ve just bonded. It’s a pain in the neck a lot of the time. I wouldn’t think of separating them.”

Biamonte said he has reason to believe that both geldings will handle a route of ground.

“I’m just hoping that they follow the sire,” Biamonte said. “He ran long. Citius can relax and rate, and then have a nice run, which is good on the Poly. We’re trying to get Altius to relax. We worked him nice and slow the other day, and (jockey David Clark) came back and said that he’s maturing a bit.”

Invitation Only should be favored in the Ontario-sired stakes, which drew 16 entries. He was sold by trainer Dave Cotey to owner Earle Mack after capturing the Sept. 6 Simcoe Stakes, a seven-furlong sprint for graduates of local yearling sales. His new trainer, Mark Frostad, was forced to bypass the Oct. 17 Cup and Saucer Stakes when Invitation Only got sick.

“It took him a little while to bounce back from that,” Frostad recalled.

Frostad said he is unsure as to how far Invitation Only will go.

“I don’t know if he’s just a sprinter, or if he’ll get the two turns,” Frostad said. “He’s been on a good work program. Unfortunately, he won with blinkers on the last time, so I can’t take them off.”