05/27/2011 12:24PM

River Downs: Green Carpet poses distance, surface questions for Trophy Boy


CINCINNATI – Trophy Boy will try to remain undefeated when he faces six other Ohio bred 3-year-old colts and geldings in the $50,000 Green Carpet at River Downs on Sunday. The Green carpet is scheduled to be run at 1 1/16 miles on turf.

Trophy Boy won at first asking at Beulah Park on March 14 in gate-to-wire fashion in a statebred maiden event. In his second and most recent start, Trophy Boy won the H.B. Noonan at Beulah on April 16 by five lengths, again having led every step of the way.

Distance and a surface switch are the unknowns for Trophy Boy. According to trainer Doug Cowans, he is more concerned about how his horse will take to the turf.

“I am not worried about him being able to go the distance. I feel like running long is not a problem,” Cowans said. “I am just not sure how he will handle the turf, that is the big question.”

Trophy Boy is coming into the race in top shape, according to his trainer.

“He is doing fantastic,” Cowans said. “He had a great work over the track Saturday.”

Regular rider Rafael Hernandez retains the mount.

Cowans sends out another of the seven entrants and feels that if Trophy Boy doesn’t handle the surface, No Garlic will.

“I think the turf will help him carry his speed and he is doing super,” Cowans said. “He came out of his last race much better than he went into it and I expect him to move forward and run well Sunday.”

No Garlic was the Ohio 2-year-old champion last season and finished third to Trophy Boy in the Noonan in his only race this year. Last season, No Garlic won 3 of 5 races, including the Hoover locally and the Ohio Freshman at Beulah Park going a mile. All three victories were in front-running style, which Cowans concedes could be a problem.

“I am a little bit concerned that they could go out and burn each other out, hopefully the early pace wont be blistering.” said Cowans.

Luis Gonzalez retains the mount.

Elroy J appears to be the other horse who could contest the early fractions in the Green Carpet. Trained by Richie Estvanko, Elroy J comes into the Green Carpet off a maiden claiming win at Indiana Downs on May 3. Last season, Elroy J ran third in the Best of Ohio Juvenile at the same distance as the Green Carpet. Orlando Mojica retains the mount.