Grey Stakes (Grade 3)- $125.000 Purse
WO- For Two Year Olds
One Mile and One Sixteenth on the Dirt
October 27, 2019
North of the border this Sunday, a field of ten two year olds will be going to post for the 14th running of the Grey Stakes. While some of these horses might have been hoping to be in the BC Juvenile, it is a race that has produced some very good horses when they were three, even they were not necessarily the winner of the race. Fear The Dragon was part of this race last year, and going back to 2011, the race was won by Copper Bottom. This year’s race will see the normal up and comers against others who have been running in top stakes already, but were falling short. They go up against some who simply preferred to do their best work in statebreds. All in all, we end up with a good field, with some different paths that were taken to get here. Let’s take a look at them!
#1- Personal Injury (Estero Farms, ridden by G Boulanger)- Has run twice so far, and to this point he has not really done much to be excited about on the race track. His work times are why he is here, looking quick in a mile work at the beginning of the month, and that trend has continued into his six furlong works. After breaking his maiden he was thrust right into the Grade 3 Iroquois, and he was flat there.
#2- County Medical (Crocker Ggs, ridden by L Contreras)- Early in his career, County Medical has taken a liking to this track, going two-for-two, his only wins out of his four starts. Included in that was the $100.000 Victoria Stakes in July. Tried the Grade 3 Iroquois last month, and finishes well ahead of Personal Injury, collecting a fourth place check. More of the same here probably gets some sort of check again.
#3- Sars (Aer Stables, ridden by J Valdivia Jr)- From Personal Injury, to County Medical, and now to Sars, there is a certain medical theme with these first three. Sars is pretty similar to where Personal Injury is right now, having made two starts and not really showing us much on the track. He’s working even better, and will be a first time gelding for this race. If that makes a big difference, then look for significant improvement from the Bongard.
#4- Cairn Toul (The Sidley Stud, ridden by J M Campbell)- Hit the board in five of his seven career races, but the two races where he failed to are the two times he attempted a graded stake. While on the grass, he has a couple of places in ungraded events, but his big win thus far is a $30.000 stake at TUP. I’m put off by his run in the Grade 1 Pharaoh, looked awfully flat.
#5- Trapper Bay (Gdp Inc, ridden by S R Bahen)- In four starts, he has two wins and two seconds, and stepped into stake territory well by running second in the $100.000 McDermott, at PID for PA-breds. He’s a natural to be moved up into a race like this, but when I want to like his potential, his last work stands out at me. It was a second slower then his prior work, so I hope that was just a result of the trainer experimenting with something.
#6- Raid Of The Mist (Allinthegate, ridden by Alan Garcia)- The Niagra colt hopes to get his sire his second straight win in the stake. Placed second in the World Trade Center Memorial in his last race, a race that was won by Tephra, who went on to finish second in the Grade 1 Champagne earlier this month. That said, there was some distance between them, but still a quality effort. Worked fairly well coming into this, but I do like that he seems to be a horse who won’t have trouble showing his ability in races, instead of only in the morning, like a couple others in here do.
#7- Gleneagles (Njvets, ridden by E R DaSilva)- For every maiden that wins a race like this, there are about 50 that don’t. At least that part of this game remains realistic, especially with two year olds, as it should occasionally happen, but it should be rare, too. He did run well at SAR in his last start, but his works aren’t telling me that he’s about to upset this field.
#8- Notorious Temper (Night Rider Stables, ridden by E J Wilson)- Things have come in threes for this horse thus far. Three trainers already have owned him. Three starts. Three wins. Three hundred-plus dollars in earnings. His last two wins have come in the FL Sire Stakes, including capturing the In Reality last month. In that race, he came from off the pace to get up for the win while running a 92 SRF, a figure that might seem a little low. Working well, still, and plenty of reason to be excited about him remaining perfect.
#9- Socrates (Mb Stables, ridden by R M Hernandez)- Here is another regular of the FL Sire Series, and he is also coming out of the In Reality. It is interesting to compare the race lines of both Notorious Temper and Socrates from that race as they both raced together early on. Notorious Temper began running earlier, pulled well away from Socrates, before Socrates actually gained back on Notorious Temper, despite finishing third. Mb will make a tactical adjustment, for sure.
#10- Anoush Command (Serenity Stables, ridden by J Lermyte)- On the outside, the colt by Command Attention is two for four early in his career, with both wins coming in the only two races he has been in that were not stakes. Went wire to wire in his last race month, coming at this distance at SA in an optional claimer. It may have been an overnight, but there is plenty to like about that effort. With this start, his last three starts will be from the outer most starting spot in the race. Where’s the forum post? (I’m kidding). Looking at this field, I would not be surprised, and like him if he does, try to go wire and wire again. Some may be left behind if he did.