09/19/2013 12:47PM

Suffolk Downs: Grady’s early speed could foil Roode Dude’s quest in African Prince

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EAST BOSTON, Mass. – Roode Dude is De Roode’s first foal, first starter, and first winner, and on Saturday he could become the first stakes winner for the 2007 New England horse of the year.

With a victory in the $30,000 African Prince Stakes, the 3-year-old chestnut gelding also would be the second homebred Massachuestts-bred stakes winner this season at Suffolk Downs for Adel Salim, who also trains him. On July 20, Salim won the Rise Jim Stakes with Silk Spinner, who is out of Make the Double, making him an older half-brother to Roode Dude.

In five starts at Suffolk this season, all in sprints and with Jacqueline Davis aboard, Roode Dude has notched one win, one second, and two thirds, and he comes into the African Prince after missing by a neck last out in first-level allowance company against older horses. He’s back in with sophomore runners Saturday, and Davis gets the return call for the six-furlong test.

Grady, who is part of a John Rigattieri-trained entry with Pinazola for New England Stallion Station and Hy-Hopes Farm, has plenty of early speed and might be the one to catch in the 11-horse field. Grady has 2 wins and 1 second in 3 starts and will be ridden by Dyn Panell. Rigattieri and Panell are the top winning trainer-and-jockey combination at Suffolk and had notched 31 victories together going into Saturday.

Gary Wales gets the call on Pinazola, a son of Bandini who had been ridden by Panell in all three starts and now steps up from the $12,500 maiden claiming ranks. The mount will be the first for Wales since being sidelined Aug. 1 when he broke the L2 vertebra in his spine in a spill at Suffolk.

Abandonedandbroke, My Friend Bob, The Lion’s Fire, Im Kwik, Shelly’s Cider, Jace, Worth the Worry, and Future Episodes complete the field.