08/29/2011 11:34AM

Woodbine: Old Blue Eyes looks sharp in Ontario-sired sprint


ETOBICOKE, Ontario – The steady Old Blue Eyes deserves top billing in Wednesday’s Woodbine opener, an Ontario-sired allowance for nonwinners of three. The six-furlong sprint was originally scheduled for last Wednesday, but it was on the portion of the card that was canceled due to a spectacular lightning storm.

Old Blue Eyes, a 3-year-old trained by Pat Parente, graduated over $25,000 Ontario-sired maidens in his second appearance of the year May 7. The jump up to Ontario-sired allowance company wasn’t a big deal for him as he finished second behind a runaway winner at that level June 11.

Old Blue Eyes earned his second consecutive 75 Beyer Speed Figure when he prevailed at the first Ontario-sired allowance category July 6. Three weeks later, he benefited from an outside bias when third behind unbeaten Queen Street Beach and Altius in the seven-furlong Deputy Minister, a stakes for Ontario-sired 3-year-olds.

Justin Stein, who was aboard for both of Old Blue Eyes’s tallies, will ride the son of Old Forester.

The Terry Jordan-trained Gangster Rap figures to lead the way under Patrick Husbands, Woodbine’s hottest rider in August.

Gangster Rap went coast to coast to take his season debut in an Ontario-sired maiden special June 1. He stumbled at the break before finishing a fading fourth in his first allowance attempt June 26, but then made amends July 23, when he rode a speed bias to an allowance victory, for which he got a 72 Beyer.

Hawkey Star is capable of joining Gangster Rap on the lead, although he doesn’t always flash early foot. It took him an eternity to clear the first Ontario-sired allowance condition, and he finally turned the trick April 27. His two races since then were both lackluster, and he’s returning from a freshening.

Tyler Pizarro will ride Hawkey Star for under-rated trainer Julia Carey.

Objection Denied had a productive 2010 campaign, during which he won two 2 of 8 starts for earnings of about $100,000. Trainer Bob Tiller has run him sporadically this year, and he beat out Hawkey Star for second in a five-furlong sprint at this level July 13. Luis Contreras has the mount.

Stormin Willie captured an allowance in his second start off the sidelines in May, and he has cracked the top three in each of his three starts at this classification. Most recently in a seven-furlong turf sprint, he was a pace-pressing second under Pizarro. David Clark, who was aboard for Stormin Willie’s maiden victory, takes over Wednesday.