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Woodbine: Uncaptured stretches out in Grey Stakes
By Ron Gierkink
ETOBICOKE, Ontario – The brilliant 2-year-old Uncaptured will extend to 1 1/16 miles Sunday at Woodbine in the $200,000 Grey, a Grade 3 stakes that has been a springboard to good things for many top horses over the years.
Uncaptured is unbeaten in four starts, all for owner John Oxley and trainer Mark Casse. Since winning his debut in May, the Ontario-bred has won three sprint stakes, including the seven-furlong Swynford. His average Beyer Speed Figure for those three scores is a huge 91.
Casse was thrilled with Uncaptured’s five-furlong breeze in 1:01.80 under Patrick Husbands last Sunday.
“He worked really well,” Casse said. “He broke off about four or five lengths behind a horse. Patrick said he wanted to go after him, but he got him to relax. He let him inch up to him right at the wire. He’s just a kind horse, and he should be able to run all day long.”
The Grey has had some success as a Breeders’ Cup prep. The 2000 winner, Macho Uno, returned to take the BC Juvenile, and Casse didn’t rule out a November trip to Santa Anita for that Grade 1 stakes for Uncaptured.
“It’s a possibility, but it’s not something that we feel like we have to do,” Casse said. “We’ll definitely look at it.”
The Grey also offers qualifying points for the 2013 Kentucky Derby. Churchill Downs has moved to a points system to determine the field for the Derby, scrapping the previous system of graded stakes earnings. The Grey’s first four finishers will get 10-4-2-1 points, respectively.
Uncaptured was recently made the 30-1 future-book favorite for the 2013 Kentucky Derby by the Wynn Las Vegas race and sports book. Two Grey winners captured the Kentucky Derby, Sunny’s Halo (1983) and Mine That Bird (2009). Dancer’s Image, the 1967 Grey winner, was disqualified from winning the 1968 Derby because of a positive drug test.
Casse also entered Indiano Jones and Star Contender.
Indiano Jones earned his diploma on the grass before running third in the Grade 2 Summer Stakes, but Casse said the son of A.P. Indy probably isn’t a turf expert.
“We’ve always thought that he’s a little better on the Poly, but we’ll see,” Casse said. “So far, he hasn’t really shown that he’s one of our better colts, but he has a pedigree that says he’ll get better as he gets older.”
Casse said the recent maiden winner Star Contender is not a cinch to start in the Grey.
“He’s in there as a backup, in case something happens to Uncaptured,” Casse said. “We’ll only run two.”
Five Iron romped home on top by four lengths at first asking July 22 and went on to finish second after dueling up front in the Sept. 9 Swynford.
“I’m excited about trying this guy long,” trainer Brian Lynch said. “He’s got a high cruising speed, and I think he’ll be comfortable cruising along up close.”
Tesseron and River Seven ran one-two, while a half-length apart, in a fast maiden special over a mile and 70 yards on Sept. 3.
Tesseron, an expensive son of Tapit, was landing his debut then, with an 83 Beyer. He is listed at 85-1 in the Wynn Derby future book.
The maiden River Seven was previously second in the Vandal Stakes and third in the Clarendon Stakes, which were both won by Uncaptured. Completing the field is Mercenary, who finished sixth in the Sept. 15 Summer.
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