06/19/2009 12:00AM

Ikigai stands out among Dash contenders


The morning-line odds provide a good indication of how deep contention runs in Saturday night's $250,000 Charles Town Invitational Dash.

Trust or Bust, a winner of four straight, including the $100,000 Webb Snyder locally and the $75,000 Panhandle Handicap at Mountaineer with a 102 Beyer Speed Figure, is no better than fourth choice at 6-1.

Eaton's Gift, winner of the Grade 2 Swale at Gulfstream Park and the $108,000 Matt Winn at Churchill Downs in 2008, is a juicy 8-1 among a field of 10 older sprinters going 4 1/2 furlongs.

The odds on those two contenders, along with morning-line favorite Ikigai, will drop, however, with the scratch of defending champion Joey P. He underwent colic surgery Thursday night and will miss Saturday's race.

The Dash is the co-feature on a four-stakes card that includes an appearance by multiple graded stakes winner Big Drama in the $250,000 Red Legend for 3-year-olds.

The Dash goes as race 9 at 9:30 p.m. Eastern and is the third leg on an all-stakes pick four.

The absence of Joey P. enhances the chances of Ikigai, winner of the Grade 3 Mr. Prospector at Gulfstream Park in January with a 111 Beyer. Ikigai has been in front at the half-mile call in three of his last four starts, including the Grade 2 Richter Scale.

Trainer Marty Wolfson said he's using the Dash to prep the 4-year-old Ikigai for the Grade 2 Smile Sprint Handicap at Calder on July 11.

The fastest horse out of the gate, however, might be Secretintelligence, a 12-1 outsider trained by Tim Ritchey. The 6-year-old Secretintelligence has gone 43-seconds-and-change twice this spring and still had enough left to win the seven-furlong Lyman Handicap at Philadelphia Park and finish second to Acting Zippy in the six-furlong Vincent Moscarelli Memorial at Delaware Park. Acting Zippy has won twice since the Moscarelli and is entered in the $100,000 Wild and Wonderful on Saturday's undercard.

The field also includes Stormin Baghdad, a Steve Asmussen-trained 5-year-old who won two sprint stakes at Fair Grounds last fall, and Knights Cross, who rallied to get third in the Grade 3 Aristides at Churchill Downs last time out.