Ten juveniles seek their first stakes score in the $150,000 Display Stakes at Woodbine Dec. 1, including a few who have recently been knocking at the door. But the runner horsemen fear most is Avie's Quality, who broke his maiden impressively by five lengths going two turns Nov. 14.
The 1 1/16-mile Display, run on the all-weather track with all runners assigned 115 pounds, is scheduled as race eight on a 10-race card with an approximate post time of 4:27 p.m. EST.
Highly regarded at Woodbine though making his stakes debut, Avie's Destiny is trained by Josie Carroll. This Elusive Quality runner came from just off the pace and drew away to win clear in a 1 1/16-mile event. In two prior starts for owner Ivan Dalos, Avie's Quality was second by a head going 1 1/16 miles on the turf Oct. 12 and third going a mile and 70 yards in an off-the-turf maiden event in his first start Sept. 23.
Up Hill Stable's Horse Greeley colt Clearly Now is also one to watch with an unbeaten record as he tries stretching out for the first time. Both of the Brian Lynch trainee's wins have come at six furlongs; he took a Sept. 26 maiden special weight by 1 1/2 lengths and came back to win in allowance company by half a length Nov. 3.
Of three runners in the field with stakes experience, Richard and Nancy Kaster's Really Sharp has shown the most potential. Third in the Nov. 4 Nashua Stakes (gr. II) at Aqueduct Racetrack, the homebred son of Sharp Humor raced greenly in blinkers while contesting the pace between foes and was hampered slightly by drifting from the eventual winner.
One start back in the Oct. 7 Bourbon Stakes (gr. III) at Keeneland, the Ian Black-trained runner spooked midstretch and shied outward to the center of the track, but nevertheless surged back to run on strongly and was second by a nose. He was disqualified to sixth for his antics. Blinkers come off again for this start.
Dan the Tin Man, a Songandaprayer colt trained by Ricky Griffith who ran sixth in the Saratoga Special (gr. II) this summer, third in the Swynford Stakes at Woodbine Sept. 9, and seventh last out in the Sept. 29 Fitz Dixon, Jr. Memorial Juvenile Stakes at Presque Isle Downs, is another with stakes experience trying the longer distance for the first time.
Mercenary went around two turns in his most recent start, the Oct. 7 Grey Stakes (Can-III), but finished sixth. The Closing Argument colt was sixth when running a mile on the turf in the Sept. 15 Summer Stakes Presented by TVG (Can-II) as well.