10/22/2012 12:09PM

Woodbine: Distance shouldn't bother Gunderman in Wednesday maiden special


ETOBICOKE, Ontario – There are several fairly promising 2-year-olds in Wednesday’s opening race at Woodbine, and Gunderman should be favored in the 1 1/16-mile maiden special, which is worth $67,100.

Gunderman lagged well back early before closing belatedly for second when he debuted over five furlongs May 25 at Churchill Downs. He didn’t start again until Aug. 4, when he came up empty after a troubled break in a 6 1/2-furlong maiden special at Saratoga.

Gunderman rebounded nicely in a seven-furlong maiden special on the Polytrack here Sept. 30. After tracking the early leaders, he made a three-wide bid for the lead in the stretch before getting caught by his good stablemate Exploring. Gunderman earned a respectable 76 Beyer Speed Figure in that second-place finish.

Gunderman is by Belmont Stakes victor Birdstone, and his dam has produced a route winner, so an extension in distance probably won’t pose a problem for him.

Eurico Da Silva will ride Gunderman for leading trainer Mark Casse, who also entered Cowdray Park.

Cowdray Park didn’t show much while sprinting in his first two outings, but he managed to finish a distant third in a mile and 70-yard maiden special Sept. 3. The first two finishers from that race, Tesseron and River Seven, subsequently ran one-two in the Grade 3 Grey Stakes, with River Seven coming out on top.

Most recently, Cowdray Park set a lively pace while going long en route to finishing a clear second to Up With the Birds, who’s headed for the Coronation Futurity.

Cowdray Park is a homebred from the meet’s leading owner, John Oxley, who also campaigned his dam, the gifted millionaire Beautiful Pleasure.

Top jockey Patrick Husbands retains the mount on Cowdray Park, a son of the popular Bernardini.

Mom’s Song was unruly in the walking ring prior to his debut Sept. 29, during which he closed mildly for third behind Cowdray Park. A son of Unbridled’s Song, Mom’s Song should be better for the experience, although trainer Mark Frostad has been shut out with recent maiden second-time starters.

Trade Rumor was rank early while tracking the leaders before tiring in that Sept. 29 contest, in which he was demoted from fifth to sixth by disqualification.

Crime of Passion was ineffective when he debuted over seven furlongs Sept. 30, but the son of the late Lawyer Ron is bred for middle distances.

Rounding out the field is Wandoboyslew, who was a non-threatening sixth going short in both of his races. He also possesses some stamina in his bloodlines.