04/06/2011 1:09PM

Woodbine: Gary D has recency on his side


ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Gary D is the lone winter-raced runner in Friday’s Woodbine headliner, which should give him an edge in the second-level optional claimer, scheduled for 5 1/2 furlongs.

Gary D started once here last year when he was trained by Steve Asmussen, finishing fourth in the Woodstock Stakes. After running second in the Jan. 8 Pelican Stakes at Tampa, he changed trainers for the fifth time in his career, going from Freddie Hyatt to Mark Casse.

Casse sent out Gary D to run third in two five-furlong optional claimers on the grass at Gulfstream over the winter. Most recently, March 13, he set a lively pace before weakening, and was beaten three-quarters of a length by the favored winner.

Gulfstream shippers fared well opening weekend, and they posted a record of 11-11-2 from 44 starters here last April.

Corey Fraser will ride Gary D, who captured the six-furlong OBS Sprint Stakes over a synthetic surface at the Ocala Training Center in February of last year.

There are two other stakes winners in the lineup, Bogue Chitto and Dancingall Theway.

Bogue Chitto had a sensational 2009 campaign, during which he won 5 of 9 starts and about $300,000. He took the King Corrie Stakes on Polytrack by disqualification, and was a bang-up second in the Grade 2 Nearctic Stakes on turf.

Bogue Chitto failed to find the mark in five outings last year, while competing against some formidable opposition that included Chamberlain Bridge and Utterly Cool. Ian Howard trains the 7-year-old, who wintered in Ocala.

Dancingall Theway was victorious over Ontario-sired opposition in the 2010 New Providence Stakes. He struggled during the second half of last year, and was working at Palm Meadows in Florida during the winter under the guidance of trainer Lorne Richards.

The speedy D’oro Diablo romped traveling 5 1/2 furlongs in a first-level allowance when he came off the sidelines last April, and is returning from another winter break. He has other speed to contend with here.

Dublin Lane lost an event similar to Friday’s by disqualification last April. He has been idle since July 31, but he earned a career high 103 Beyer Figure when he graduated following a long layoff here two years ago.

Rounding out the field are Becky’s Kitten, Dance to My Beat, and Cold Harbor, who all prefer longer distances.