05/12/2012 12:30PM

Presque Isle: Grade 2 winner Gypsy Robin ships in for Inaugural

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Keeneland/Coady Photography
Gypsy Robin, front-running winner of the Grade 2 Beaumont at Keeneland last time out, heads the field for Tuesday's Inaugural at Presque Isle Downs.

Tuesday is opening day at Presque Isle Downs and that means 3-year-olds take center stage with a pair of $100,000, six-furlong stakes, the sixth running of the Inaugural for fillies and the Tom Ridge for colts and geldings.

Gypsy Robin is now a graded stakes winner after taking the Grade 2 seven-furlong Beaumont at Keeneland in her last out April 15, and trainer Wesley Ward plans on increasing her credentials.

She is already a Grade 2 winner. Hopefully if she runs her race we will point her to a Grade 1, probably at Saratoga later this summer,” Ward said.

Gypsy Robin will be looking for her third straight victory going back to last year when she won the Sorority at Monmouth Park for Ward. A daughter of Daaher, Gypsy Robin has won all three of her races on or near the lead but the abundance of speed in the Inaugural doesn’t bother Ward.

“Anytime you give away $100,000 to 3-year-old sprinting fillies, you are going to have a ton of speed,” he said. “We drew the outside post, which was great, and then Julio [Garcia] is a very patient rider and will ride accordingly. She can either go with them or sit back off them, depending on the pace.”

The decision to go in the race was easy for Ward.

“She breezed 58 and change at Keeneland the other day and is doing so well, we just had to go,” said Ward.

Dance to Bristol sports the highest lifetime Beyer Speed Figure of the nine entrants in the Inaugural, having earned a 91 in her victory in the Marshua at Laurel on Feb. 4. That is eight points higher than her nearest competitor. Trained by Ollie Figgins, Dance to Bristol has won 3 of 9 starts and more than $150,000. Elias Peltroche retains the mount.

Town Prize comes into the Tom Ridge off an impressive win in the Woodstock at Woodbine on April 15. It was the first start of the year for Town Prize, who went 2 for 4 as a 2-year-old. Trainer Darwin Banach could not be happier with Town Prize’s season debut.

“He was two-tenths [of a second] off the track record and had plenty left at the end,” Banach said. “He really drew off on them. He is just fantastic right now.”

Town Prize drew the outside post in the field of nine but that is not a concern for Banach.

“He is very ratable and I am very confident in the jockey,” said Banach, referring to Eurico Da Silva. “The horse is so versatile he will do whatever is asked of him.” Banach is still mulling his options for Town Prize’s next start.

“We have looked ahead a little bit and are looking at the Woody Stephens or a race here at Woodbine, the Highlander.”

The Grade 2 Woody Stephens, a seven-furlong race, is June 9 at Belmont Park. The Grade 2 Highlander will be contested on turf on June 24.

Lomax is an unknown quantity in the Tom Ridge after winning his maiden debut by more than 23 lengths at Mountaineer on April 30 for trainer Jeff Radosevich. Lomax earned a 96 Beyer Speed Figure in that event, a lifetime best in the field. Scott Spieth retains the mount.

◗ In a five-furlong allowance event preceding the Tom Ridge and Inaugural, Lisa’s Booby Trap will make her 2012 debut. The now 5-year-old Lisa’s Booby Trap has won 9 of 13 races for trainer Tim Snyder and was installed as the 3-1 morning-line favorite.