06/02/2010 11:00PM

Custom for Carlos, Bribon to clash


\ELMONT, N.Y. - Custom for Carlos, a well-traveled colt who has run triple-digit Beyer Speed Figures at four different tracks, and Bribon, last year's Met Mile winner, are top-weighted at 118 pounds and head a field of 10 in Saturday's Grade 2, $250,000 True North Handicap.

The six-furlong True North is carded as race 8, with post time at 4 p.m. Eastern. It is the first leg of a $1 million-guaranteed pick four that concludes with the Belmont Stakes.

A nose and a neck are all that separates Custom for Carlos from five straight stakes wins at five tracks since last October.

"He shows up every time, and this is the race we've pointed to for a while," said trainer Eddie Kenneally. "It fits into our schedule, and this is the right distance for him."

Bribon made his mark as a miler, and his banner campaign last year included wins in the Westchester and the Metropolitan Handicap. He was sold and turned over to Todd Pletcher after a runner-up finish in the Cigar Mile, and ran second in the Barbados Gold Cup in his first start at age 7 this year. Eight weeks later, he ran fifth at odds-on in defense of his Westchester title.

Bribon would have faced his Pletcher-trained stablemate Quality Road in the Met Mile.

"Quality Road running had nothing to do with the decision not to run him in the Met Mile," said assistant trainer Jonathan Thomas. "It was basically based on the Westchester. He trained very well for the Westchester, but the performance was disappointing."

Bribon's only win at six furlongs was a second-level allowance back in 2007.

Adding intrigue to the field are Fantasy Free and Gato Go Win, Southern California invaders who have raced primarily on synthetic tracks.

Gato Go Win was scratched by the stewards shortly before last year's Bay Shore at Aqueduct, after former trainer Jeff Mullins was observed administering the expectorant Air Power in the security barn. He comes off a nose loss in the Grade 2 Potrero Grande Handicap for current trainer Robert Troeger.

Fantasy Free is fresh off a career-best performance to win the California-bred Tiznow Stakes at Hollywood Park. This will be his 41st start, but first on dirt.

"He's at the top of his game, but the most important thing is Ramon [Dominguez] breezed him over the track Sunday and said he loves the dirt," said trainer A.C. Avila.

Other contenders include Checklist and Formidable.