06/10/2010 12:00AM

Genius Kinshasa all set


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Genius Kinshasa seems ready to fire his best shot in Saturday's $125,000 Steady Growth Stakes, a 1 1/16-mile Polytrack event for Ontario-sired horses at Woodbine.

Genius Kinshasa ran second in back-to-back first-level allowances in the fall before winning his first stakes Dec. 2 in the 1 1/16-mile Sir Barton, for which he was awarded a 95 Beyer Speed Figure.

Genius Kinshasa wound up sixth when he came off the sidelines in a second-level optional claimer on the Poly May 1. He prevailed at that level in a grass route May 24, earning an 88 Beyer.

Although he believes Genius Kinshasa will run well on Saturday, trainer Vito Armata said he believes that Genius Kinshasa prefers the grass over the Polytrack.

"He can run on anything, but I think he's better on the turf," said Armata. "He's got such a powerful stride on the turf. Last year, when I ran him in the Breeders' Stakes, the race was a mile and a half on the turf, and he went to the front and led until the eighth pole before he got tired."

Don's Folly has run three solid races this year since undergoing throat surgery last fall in Kentucky. He rallied for second in the Debut Stakes on opening day, and then ran third in an optional-claiming sprint before ending up fourth behind Genius Kinshasa in his first try on the grass.

Don's Folly has never competed around two turns, but trainer Ian Black is optimistic that this son of Tethra will handle conditions adequately.

"I think he'll run well," said Black. "I don't expect him to be up pressing the pace, but he should be able to sit close enough, comfortably, and hopefully he'll finish."

Sand Cove has been a player in the Ontario-sired ranks over the past two years although he could manage only second as the 3-5 favorite after setting a soft pace in the 2009 Sir Barton.

Sand Cove has started twice this year, finishing fifth in both the five-furlong Debut and in the seven-furlong allowance prep for the Connaught Cup Stakes on turf.

"He's come up to it very well," said trainer Roger Attfield. "He's very sharp. I think he'll be better going farther, where he can settle a little better."

Dancer's Bajan captured the 2008 Steady Growth and was second as the favorite in last year's renewal.