05/03/2013 1:16PM

Woodbine: Uncaptured out for rebound in Wando Stakes

Churchill Downs/Reed Palmer Photography
Uncaptured took 4 of 5 starts at Woodbine last year and won two stakes at Churchill Downs, the Grade 3 Iroquois and the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club, earning him a Sovereign Award.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario – The road to the $1 million Queen’s Plate on July 7 begins in earnest Sunday at Woodbine, when 2012’s Canadian Horse of the Year, Uncaptured, will look to rebound from a dull performance last out when he starts in the $100,000 Wando for 3-year-olds.

Uncaptured is one of the three Mark Casse-trained entrants in the 1 1/16-mile overnight stakes, along with Dynamic Sky and Steel Dust Dancer.

Uncaptured took 4 of 5 starts here last year on the Polytrack, before winning two stakes at Churchill Downs, the Grade 3 Iroquois and the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club. Not surprisingly, he was the voted the Sovereign Award for champion 2-year-old unanimously.

Foot problems delayed Uncaptured’s return to competition this year, and he was second following a four-month layoff in the Grade 3 Spiral at Turfway March 23.

Most recently in the Grade 1 Blue Grass at Keeneland, Uncaptured came up empty after a lovely stalking trip, an effort that made Casse bypass the Kentucky Derby.

“He probably bounced off his big race in the Spiral,” Casse said. “He was a little flat, which I was worried about. The shame of it is he loves Churchill Downs. Maybe it’s a blessing in disguise. He could have run sixth or seventh in the Kentucky Derby and gotten nothing.”

Uncaptured breezed a strong five furlongs in 1:01 here last Saturday under jockey Patrick Husbands.

“Patrick was really pleased with how he worked,” Casse said.

Dynamic Sky also was on the Kentucky Derby trail. He raced three times over the winter at Tampa, where he won the Pasco Stakes, ran second in the Grade 3 Sam F. Davis, and fourth in the Grade 2 Tampa Bay Derby.

Dynamic Sky barely picked up his feet last time out in the nine-furlong Blue Grass and wound up ninth.

“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. We’re taking the blinkers off him and see what happens.”

Steel Dust Dancer is a well-bred maiden with two starts under his girth. Casse felt Steel Dust Dancer was probably best second time out at Keeneland on April 13, when he checked in fourth after a wide trip in a 1 1/16-mile maiden special.

“He ran farther than everybody else and ran a good race,” Casse recalled.

Tesseron also finished up the track in the Blue Grass. His best effort in five outings was a runner-up placing behind River Seven in the Grade 3 Grey Stakes here in October. Trainer Josie Carroll is putting the blinkers on Tesseron.