12/05/2012 1:32PM

Woodbine: Casse saddles pair for Ontario-sired maiden route

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ETOBICOKE, Ontario – County Lineman looks like the one to beat in Friday’s fourth race at Woodbine, a 1 1/16-mile maiden route for 2-year-olds, but he also was entered in another Ontario-sired maiden special Saturday, which means he will be scratched Friday.

Leading trainer Mark Casse has two contenders in the fourth, Guest Starring and Warbred, who ran second and fourth, respectively, in a two-turn maiden special Nov. 11.

Guest Starring, a son of stamina sire Philanthropist, has improved dramatically with each subsequent outing. He dueled through fast fractions Nov. 11 before giving way to a charging Niigon’s Glory, who came back to run fourth in the $125,000 Kingarvie Stakes.

Warbred had just one five-furlong race under his girth before Nov. 11, when he got away slowly before making up a little ground from midpack. He gets blinkers Friday.

Patrick Husbands retains the mount on Guest Starring, as will Eurico Da Silva on Warbred.

Otonabee, the lone filly in the lineup, is on the also-eligible list, but will draw in because of the scratches of County Lineman and Bobby Sox.
Otonabee dropped her seven-furlong opener by a neck Oct. 7. She was overshadowed by her unbeaten stablemate, Nipissing, in the Nov. 18 South Ocean Stakes and finished a game second to her in that 1 1/16-mile test for Ontario-sired fillies.

Otonabee could be favored under Richard Dos Ramos, who will get a leg up from trainer Paul Attard.

Johnny Neutrino should be a factor in his first venture around two turns. He closed for second in two of his three starts, which sandwiched a poor performance in the Simcoe, a restricted stakes that came up extremely tough. Most recently, he checked in 3 1/2 lengths behind Power Phil, who subsequently lost the Kingarvie by a heartbreaking nose.

Trainer Ian Black is putting blinkers on Johnny Neutrino, who has some stamina in his pedigree. Chris Griffith, who rode him in all three of his races, will be back in the saddle.

Smooth Charlie split the two Casse entrants Nov. 11, when he stretched out following a fourth-place finish behind Johnny Neutrino. He breezed three-eighths in a quick 36.40 seconds last Saturday for trainer Carlos Grant.

First-time starters Charismatic Charm and Bay King are bred to go long, but both are by low-percentage debut sires.

Rounding out the field are longshots Faithful Rose, Rumbling Rocket, Forever Best, Rackman, and Private Purchase, who is adding blinkers.