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Woodbine: River Seven finally set for 2013 debut in Queenston Stakes
By Ron Gierkink
ETOBICOKE, Ontario – The talented River Seven makes his belated season debut Saturday at Woodbine in the $150,000 Queenston, a seven-furlong stakes that serves as a stepping-stone to the $1 million Queen’s Plate.
River Seven faced the best of his division at 2 last year. He was a distant third behind eventual champion 2-year-old and Canadian Horse of the Year Uncaptured while debuting in the June 30 Clarendon Stakes. A month later, he rallied for second behind Uncaptured in the six-furlong Vandal Stakes.
After ending up second as the 2-5 favorite in a two-turn maiden special weight race Sept. 3, River Seven won the Grade 3 Grey Stakes over a good field that included Uncaptured. He hasn’t started since the Oct. 7 Grey, in which he tied his career-best Beyer Speed Figure with an 85.
Trainer Nick Gonzalez said River Seven has trained encouragingly since encountering a stumbling block in Florida.
“I had a minor setback with him over the winter – not anything serious, but I got started a little later than I wanted to,” Gonzalez said. “We got four or five good works into him at Gulfstream. He breezed awesome here the other day. He’s a very good horse.”
Gonzalez said the nine-furlong Plate Trial Stakes is next on River Seven’s agenda.
“The way the races are spread out, you have (the Queenston), the June 9 Trial, and then the July 7 Plate,” Gonzalez said. “You have four weeks, four weeks and four weeks. That’s the way we’re going to approach it.”
Trainer Mark Casse entered Dynamic Sky, Star Contender, and Jagger M, a trio that makes up half the field of Ontario-bred 3-year-olds.
Dynamic Sky was on the Kentucky Derby trail. He raced three times over the winter at Tampa Bay Downs, where he won the Pasco Stakes, ran second in the Grade 3 Sam F. Davis, and was fourth in the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby.
Dynamic Sky, who was scratched from last Sunday’s Wando Stakes, was a non-threatening ninth last time out in the Grade 1 Blue Grass at Keeneland.
“I don’t know why he didn’t do better in his last start,” Casse said. “We thought he trained good up to it. We were expecting a big race out of him, and he just didn’t run.”
Star Contender was one of the top 2-year-olds on the grounds last year, winning the Cup and Saucer Stakes on grass. He was beaten by double-digit lengths twice this year in stakes at Gulfstream and Keeneland.
Jagger M earned his first victory in his fourth career start last out, a six-furlong maiden special weight race at Keeneland April 13.
Love the Gonzalez stable!
- 1.Posted 12/02/2013 02:02PM
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- 5.Posted 11/30/2013 05:05PM