08/28/2010 1:15PM

Glenwood Canyon's last was sharp -- too sharp?


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – There were not enough entries to card either one of the two overnight stakes scheduled for Monday at Saratoga, so the feature on a 10-race card is a second-level allowance race for older males going 1 1/8 miles on the main track.

Handicappers must decide whether Glenwood Canyon will bounce off his stellar second-place performance to Convocation last time at this level, or whether he can take a step forward. Al Stall, the trainer of Glenwood Canyon, sees all positive signs in the gelding since the race.

“He’s really come back and hasn’t acted like the race has hurt him,” Stall said Saturday morning. “He’s acted better since that race and he’s trained very, very well.”

In his last start, Glenwood Canyon, breaking from the rail, dueled inside of Retriever, put that one away, then battled with Convocation through the stretch before giving way grudgingly to that rival, losing by a neck. He finished 10 lengths ahead of the rest of the field.

Stall said the front-running tactics employed by jockey Garret Gomez that day were because the track had been dry and speed-favoring. He anticipates a different trip on Monday, especially with the speedy National Pride in the field.

This will be only Glenwood Canyon’s fourth start of the year. Stall said Glenwood Canyon had knee surgery following an allowance loss at Churchill in June 2009.

“He’s been okay since the knee surgery,” Stall said. “Been a bit unlucky at the entry box.”

Gomez will ride Glenwood Canyon from the outside post.

Trainer Richard Dutrow Jr. entered both Endymion and Masala, but will have to scratch one because he named Ramon Dominguez on both. On Saturday, Dutrow seemed to be leaning toward Masala, who has finished third and second in two starts at this level this year.

“I see Masala got a race over the track and he ran pretty well,” said Dutrow, referring to a fourth-place finish to Blame in last year’s Curlin Stakes when he was trained by Allen Jerkens. “Either one we run looks very live.”

National Pride, offered for the optional $50,000 claiming price, has not run since finishing second to Understatement in the Stymie Stakes on March 7. He could play out as the main speed under Alan Garcia from post 2.

Ruffino is a proven commodity at 1 1/8 miles and comes off a second-place finish in a stakes at Finger Lakes last out. Malibu Moonshine and Flying Private complete the field.