07/25/2011 12:11PM

Woodbine: Biamonte has speed, late threat for Deputy Minister


ETOBICOKE, Ontario —The speedy Altius and the closer Citius should complement each other perfectly on Wednesday night at Woodbine in the $125,000 Deputy Minister Stakes. They are both trained by Ralph Biamonte, but are not coupled in the seven-furlong sprint for Ontario-sired 3-year-olds.

Altius performed well in each of his four outings at the meet. Two starts ago when fourth in the Bold Ruckus Stakes, he set a fast pace to the benefit of Citius, who came from fourth to win the six-furlong turf sprint.

Most recently, Altius was allowed to set slow fractions under new rider Eurico Da Silva in a 6 1/2-furlong allowance, before giving way late to the promising Lucky Lotto.

“He got him to rate real well last time,” said Biamonte, who’s having a career year. “That was a monster that we ran against. He’s just a better horse.”

Altius came up a head short of victorious Citius the only time that he competed over seven furlongs when second in the Nov. 3 Frost King Stakes.

“He’ll go seven,” said Biamonte. “The way he worked the other day, he’s a little sharper than he’s been all year. I really like the way he’s going into this race.”

David Clark is back after a one-race absence to ride Altius.

Citius’s only two victories came in restricted stakes. He was favored in a 6 1/2--furlong turf allowance July 6, but had to settle for second behind the older front-running winner, Steady Stuart.

“He looked like he was going by that horse, and then all of a sudden, he just hung,” Biamonte pointed out.

Biamonte said the two geldings, who were born a day apart, breezed a half-mile together on the training track July 21. Citius went in 49.00 seconds, which was a fifth of a second slower than Altius.

“They’re both going good,” Biamonte said. “It’s always nice having Citius run with Altius, because Altius will set an honest pace.”

Omar Moreno will ride Citius, the 126-pound highweight in the seven-horse field.

The unbeaten Queen Street Beach could be favored in the Deputy Minister.

Queen Street Beach got an 82 Beyer Speed Figure for taking a 5 1/2-furlong maiden special on the Polytrack in his June 24 debut. Three weeks later, he overcame traffic problems to take a six-furlong allowance on the grass.

Patrick Husbands will ride Queen Street Beach for Melynk Racing Stable and trainer Mark Casse.