08/24/2010 1:42PM

Silverleo looks good off turf debut


ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Silverleo, an impressive winner when switched to turf for his second start, will be favored to take home the lion’s share of the purse here in Thursday’s $91,100 allowance feature.

The seven-furlong turf race for 2-year-olds attracted a field of six and is the prep for the Grade 3, $250,000 Summer Stakes, a one-mile turf race which will ensure the winner a guaranteed spot in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf at Churchill Downs.

Silverleo, a Kentucky-bred trained by Greg De Gannes, began his career with an even fifth-place finish in a five furlong maiden race here July 4.

Trying turf and moving out to seven furlongs four weeks later, Silverleo was contentious throughout and rallied for a 3 1/2-length victory under rider Emile Ramsammy.

“He’s a very nice horse,” said De Gannes, who conditions Silverleo for Trini Posse Stables.

“I always felt quite good about him, especially when I knew he’d get to stretch out. I told the owners I wasn’t so sure the turf made the difference last time – it was the distance.”

Silverleo has turned in a couple of solid five-furlong Polytrack drills in the interim and will begin from post 4 with Ramsammy retaining the mount.

Mr. Uncle Ned, a homebred owned by Robert S. Evans and trained by Mark Frostad, was the tepid 5-2 favorite in that Aug. 1 maiden race but was beaten six lengths by Silverleo.

Improvement can be expected here, as Mr. Uncle Ned has returned to breeze five furlongs in 1:00.20 on the training track turf course and retains the services of jockey Patrick Husbands as he breaks from the 1 post.

The remaining contestants will be making their turf debuts but Mo Star, the only other winner in the lineup, could be a serious danger.

An Ontario-bred who is trained and part-owned by Dave Cotey, Mo Star showed little in his first two starts but came to life when adding Lasix for his latest here Aug. 15 and was a 2 1/2-length winner under apprentice jockey Omar Moreno.

Mo Star, who drew the outside post and again will have Moreno in the irons, also was among the nominees for the Simcoe, a seven-furlong race for 2-year-old colts and geldings that will be one of the six $125,000 yearling sales stakes run here Sept. 6.

Rounding out the field will be Breaking Ball, Whippit, and Gran Tsar.