08/20/2003 11:00PM

Gus Again should get a perfect setup


WINNIPEG, Manitoba - Only five horses will run in the $35,000 Agassiz for Manitoba-foaled colts and geldings going a mile here Saturday night.

With two speed horses in the form of Rare Deputy and Certified Coin, the race sets up for the pace-pressers, Trebbiano and Gus Again.

The final entrant in the field, Silver Greek, tends to come from well back, and he also has a good chance if a pace battle develops.

Gus Again, owned by Russ Edwards, is one of the gamest horses on the grounds. A multiple stakes winner of $110,686, Gus Again finished second, beaten a nose, in this race last year.

While Gus Again has been campaigning primarily in the claiming ranks this year, he does have a second-place finish behind stakes winner Regal Legacy in a seven-furlong optional claiming race two starts ago, and his lone win this year came at a mile, although for a claiming price of $14,000.

Trebbiano, who races for Dr. Ross McKague, will likely be favored. A 4-year-old Mystery Storm gelding, he comes into the race off a romping win in the restricted Manitoba Maturity at 1 1/16 miles July 12. Prior to that, Trebbiano had won a $16,000 claiming race at Woodbine, also at 1 1/16 miles.

Rare Deputy owned by K-5 Stable, will be gunning for the lead early. The 4-year-old Rare Deputy has proven that he moves way up when he can get loose on the lead, and that just might happen.

Rare Deputy comes into the race off a confidence-building win over $12,500 nonwinners of three going six furlongs. He will have to contend with Certified Coin up front, but probably has more speed than that opponent.

Certified Coin, owned by Luxiana Farm, comes into the Agassiz off a third-place finish in a one-mile $8,000 claiming race in which he dueled to late stretch before tiring.

The sleeper in the field is Silver Greek, owned by Arnason Farm.

Second in last year's Manitoba Derby behind Lord Shogun, Silver Greek was most recently second, beaten 2 1/4 lengths by Trebbiano, in the Manitoba Maturity.