Gary Barber and Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners' GRETZKY THE GREAT returns to the very place he began his racing career—and began with a rocketing start. The son of NYQUIST won three of his first four races at Woodbine, with his fourth win being the Summer Stakes (G1).
But the Summer Stakes (G1) would be his last trip to the winner's circle in almost one year. GRETZKY THE GREAT is still winless in three subsequent starts, despite being respectably bet each time; he was never higher than $7.30 to win.
On Saturday's running of the $125K Greenwood Stakes at Woodbine, the Mark Casse-trainee can reestablish his greatness. He competes in a seven furlong event over the turf, restricted to three-year-olds. Six others will enter the gate with him. Here is a look at the field, plus a few win candidates.
The $125K Greenwood Stakes — 7 furlongs, Turf, Three-year-olds.
Post Time 4:43 PM ET.
RED RIVER REBEL: 15-1
GRETZKY THE GREAT: 2-1
BODE'S TIPSY: 8-1
ARTIE'S STORM: 6-1
COUNTY FINAL: 3-1
OH SAY: 8-1
DYN O MITE: 7-2
GRETZKY THE GREAT breaks from the second slot and is pegged the 2-1 morning-line favorite for trainer Marke E. Casse. As mentioned, he returns to familiar conditions. He's back at the Woodbine turf course where he's had success; where he registered most of his wins including a Grade 1 victory.
He cuts back to a sprint after having very little success routing in his past two races. On top of that, he is reunited with jockey KZUSHI KIMURA, who piloted him during his first four career starts. KIMURA touts a record of 3 wins and 1 second aboard the son of Nyquist.
GRETZKY THE GREAT has not run for more than four months, but has been training very well. He delivered two sharp consecutive workouts last week over the Woodbine track. He worked 4F in a swift :47.4 as the 6th fastest of 40 works at that distance. A week before that, another 4F move in :47.6, the 5th fastest of 85 at that distance.
ARTIE'S STORM from the fourth slot could give the above favorite a run for his money. This son of WE MISS ARTIE hails from Paul M. Buttigieg's stable and will be piloted by regular rider David Moran. He exits an impressive score last time out in a Optional Claiming 40k spot over the Woodbine Turf course. He was three to five wide while rallying home to win, and produced a new top speed figure to shoe. He cuts back to a sprint, while stepping up in class.
COUNTY FINAL from the three-hole is 3-1 on the morning-line for North America's all-time winningest trainer, Steve Asmussen. This gray OXBOW colt was purchased for nearly half a million and will be making his Woodbine debut, while running for the first time as a gelding. He hasn't raced for more than eight months but has been training consistently for this spot. Jockey Luis Contreras will ride for the first time.