10/02/2003 11:00PM

Twisted Wit takes route test


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Unbeaten 2-year-old Twisted Wit will test his ability around two turns Sunday in the $277,250 Grey Breeders' Cup Stakes.

The Grade 2 race is the richest and most important stakes for 2-year-olds at Woodbine. Wando, this year's Canadian Triple Crown victor, won the 2002 Grey, and Macho Uno captured the 2000 running before taking the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Churchill Downs.

Twisted Wit graduated in a five-furlong maiden dash in July before pulling off a mild upset in the six-furlong Vandal Stakes. He moved out to seven furlongs most recently in the Simcoe, another restricted stakes, and defeated Winter Whiskey, who went on to win the seven-furlong Swynford Stakes.

Trainer Bob Tiller is confident that Twisted Wit, a Canadian-bred gelding by Distorted Humor, will handle a route of ground.

"His sire has thrown horses who go long," Tiller noted. "I think [Twisted Wit] will rate and go long, but he's got to go out and do it."

Tiller is also considering Twisted Wit for the Oct. 11 Cup and Saucer Stakes, a 1 1/16-mile turf race. "We're going to look at the field, and then make a decision Sunday as to whether we run here, or in the Cup and Saucer," Tiller said.

Also entered in the 1 1/16-mile Grey are Niigon, Tobe Suave, Silver Ticket, San Diego Blowout, Organ Grinder, Estevan, Bachelor Blues, and Smoocher.

Estevan and San Diego Blowout hooked up in a suicidal speed duel in the Sept. 21 Swynford. Estevan finished third as the favorite while San Diego Blowout faded badly to last in the five-horse field.

Trainer Abraham Katryan blamed the track for San Diego Blowout's dismal performance

"It was a hot day, and the track was about a foot deep and greasy," Katryan said. "All the riders were coming back with mud in their faces. Maybe my horse didn't have it that day, but I think Estevan was the best horse in the race. A [half-mile in] 45 [seconds] on that track was really like going in 43."

Estevan, a 24 1/4-length maiden winner in his second start, is trained by Josie Carroll. Carroll also entered Bachelor Blues, who is coming off a front-running triumph at a mile on turf in the Grade 2 Summer Stakes. Bachelor Blues, who has yet to win on the dirt, had a bullet work over the main track Sept. 26.

Silver Ticket could vie for favoritism with Twisted Wit. Trained by Mark Frostad, Silver Ticket was a workmanlike winner of a one-mile-and-70-yard maiden special in his lone start Aug. 30. His final time of 1:44 earned him a very respectable Beyer Figure of 80.

Sam-Son Farm, Silver Ticket's owner and breeder, has won the Grey four times.

Niigon, a well-bred son of Unbridled, was a clear second in Silver Ticket's maiden win, and has worked quickly in the interim for trainer Eric Coatrieux. This will be Niigon's first start on Lasix.

Organ Grinder was second in the Swynford after a perfect stalking trip behind the dueling leaders. He wired maiden special opposition in his only other outing, and had a black-letter five-furlong drill over the training track Wednesday. Sid Attard trains him.

Smoocher got an 89 Beyer, when he graduated by a nose after a four-wide stalking trip in a seven-furlong maiden race Aug. 31. He has worked three times in the interim for trainer David Bell, who sent out Smoocher's sire, Kissin Kris, to win the Grade 1 Haskell Invitational Handicap at Monmouth Park in 1993.