09/14/2010 11:23AM

Heart of a King figures strong in sprint


ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Heart of a King brings the highest last-out Beyer Speed Figure to Thursday’s Woodbine headliner and should be an effective stalker in the second-level optional claiming sprint.

Heart of a King has a new trainer for this engagement, Amber Mayers, who is subbing for the suspended Michael Pino. Heart of a King captured 4 of 8 starts last year, including the $99,000 Tall Ships Stakes on the Tapeta surface at Presque Isle Downs.

Heart of a King registered a career-high 95 Beyer when he triumphed at this class in his second appearance of the year May 16. He subsequently ran fourth in back-to-back Presque Isle races and then got a 90 Beyer in his runner-up placing in a 5 1/2-furlong optional claimer here July 31.

Heart of a King, who competes with a $62,500 claiming tag, will have leading rider Eurico Da Silva back in the saddle.

Paso Doble figures to lead the way in the six-furlong dash. His lone score in six starts this year came via disqualification April 18 in a 5 1/2-furlong optional claimer, for which he got a 92 Beyer.

Paso Doble checked in fourth in two consecutive Ontario-sired stakes, which were two months apart, in June and August. He is exiting a narrow loss to Daniel Be Good in a seven-furlong optional claimer that was run over a turf course favoring speed at the time.

Patrick Husbands picks up the mount on the Sid Attard-trained Paso Doble, who will wear blinkers for the first time since April of last year.

Mountain Justice has worked regularly at Keeneland for his first outing since March 14, when he eked out a victory in a one-mile optional claimer on the grass at Fair Grounds. He was only an early factor in his lone synthetic-track try last fall in his debut at Keeneland.

Disfunction, one of the leading sprinters on the grounds in 2009, has lost a step or two this year, but he managed to win a six-furlong optional claimer April 23. He has been idle since a second-place finish against $50,000 opposition July 4.

The stretch-running Civil Code won two relatively slow $50,000 claimers early in the meet. A speed bias worked against him most recently, when he wound up third behind Disfunction.

Completing the field is General Brock, who set a sleepy pace en route to running second to Tend in a seven-furlong optional claimer Aug. 20.