05/26/2012 3:05PM

Lincoln: Gibson Crystal will stalk in Bluegrass Stakes


Gibson Crystal is the likely favorite, but will have her work cut out for her as a solid field of older fillies and mares goes six furlongs in the $15,000 Bluegrass Stakes at Lincoln Race Course on Monday.

Gibson Crystal, trained by leading conditioner Chuck Turco, comes into the race off a narrow loss in the Al Swihart Stakes at Fonner Park on May 5, when she was beaten a half-length by Rubys Big Band. She will face a host of early speed in this race, but has shown the ability to lay just off the pace and make a solid stretch charge. Gibson Crystal was third in this race a year ago despite having a stirrup break at the start.

Late-running C O Barqueen should receive a good pace scenario in this race. A winner of 6 of her 14 starts, C O Barqueen failed to mount her rally in the Al Swihart when a nonthreatening fourth in her last start. There is plenty of speed up front to set up her late rally as she looks to add to a pair of optional claiming wins from Fonner Park this spring. C O Barqueen is trained by Jim Compton.

Invaders T Jays Affair and Champangefortwo will go as an uncoupled entry for trainer Doug Anderson. T Jays Affair was third in the Al Swihart in her last start, while Champangefortwo was most recently fourth after attending the pace against optional claiming company at Prairie Meadows on May 3.

Miss Taggart, trained here by Rick Bogdanovich, is another Prairie Meadows invader. A strong speed horse, Miss Taggart contested the pace into the stretch before settling for second against $12,500 claiming company May 4.