07/29/2010 4:57PM

True Metropolitan tries again in Speers

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True Metropolitan, an 8-year-old gelding trained by Terry Jordan, may have lost a step or two over the past couple of seasons. But as a two-time Canadian champion with career earnings of more than $1.1 million, True Metropolitan still must be accorded the utmost respect in Saturday’s $30,000 R.J. Speers Stakes at Assiniboia Downs.

The R.J. Speers, a 1 1/16-mile race for 3-year-olds and upward, attracted a field of nine and True Metropolitan will break from post 7 with Gary Baze in the irons for the first time.

True Metropolitan raced just once in 2009, finishing second in the 6 1/2-furlong George Royal at Hastings, and has just a third-place finish to show from three starts at Woodbine this season.

In his latest, which came for a $62,500 claiming price there last Saturday, True Metropolitan showed the way into the stretch but tired to finish last in the field of eight.

“I really wasn’t planning on running him, and he really didn’t do much running,” said Jordan. “I just hope I didn’t make a mistake.”

Double Shuffle was claimed for $17,500 at Northlands Park last summer. Double Shuffle made a couple of starts in Phoenix this April and has been perfect in two outings since relocating to Assiniboia Downs.

Both of Double Shuffle’s scores came over one mile, the first under second-level allowance terms and then in the Wheat City on July 9. Vicky Baze returns aboard Double Shuffle, who will begin from post 8 as the 124-pound co-highweight.

Vindgari, a solid second in the Wheat City, also has been on the improve since coming to Winnipeg and should appreciate Saturday’s extra yardage. Mark Anderson gets the call aboard Vindgari, who is trained by Carl Anderson.

Grow Up is an up-and-coming 5-year-old gelding who is trained by Robertino Diodoro.

* Chief Counsel, also based at Woodbine with Jordan, was made the even-money favorite for Monday’s $75,000 Manitoba Derby after a field of seven was entered on Thursday.

The Manitoba Derby, a 1 1/8 mile race for 3-year-olds, also attracted Stachys, Cherokee’s Goal, Key Largo, Kind Regards, Mankato Srike, and Mr. Malabar.