Canada's Grey Cup Draws Nine 2-Year-Olds

(from Woodbine report)
A solid field of nine, which includes stakes winners Twisted Wit, Bachelor Blues and San Diego Blowout, has been drawn for Sunday's $276,000 Grey Breeders' Cup Stakes (Can-II) at Woodbine.

The winner of the 1 1/16-mile main track race for 2-year-olds will establish himself as the leader in the local juvenile division. Post time for the Grey Breeders' Cup is scheduled for 5:08 pm ET.

Silver Ticket, who won his only start, is the 5-2 morning line choice, followed by Bachelor Blues at 4-1, Estevan at 9-2 and San Diego Blowout at 6-1. A trio of horses are at 8-1 – Smoocher, Niigon and Twisted Wit. Organ Grinder (12-1) and Tobe Suave (20-1) are the outsiders.

If trainer reaction means anything in the way a horse may run in a upcoming race, then William Schettine's Bachelor Blues is one to watch.

Asked about Bachelor Blues' current form, Josie Carroll was extremely bullish. "He really came out of his last race really strong, he's doing very well. He's doing so well right now we're going to give him another opportunity on dirt before we label him a grass horse."

The son of Smoke Glacken has been strong on turf this year, winning two of his last three races, including a terrific score in the Summer Stakes last time out.

But Carroll says Bachelor Blues appreciates the main track and will especially relish the 1 1/8-mile distance of the race more than anything. "The further he goes the better. He never tires. He's very aggressive. He'll like the distance of this race."

Bachelor Blues did not debut until May at Woodbine, finishing fourth, but he has not been worse than second, including a put-up runner-up finish in the Victoria Stakes in his second starts. Overall he has two wins and three seconds in six starts for purse earnings of $265,406.

Carroll, who trains the arguable leader in the 2-year-old filly division, Dream About, says the stable has always been high on Bachelor Blues.

"We always liked his ability. We were going to run him at Keeneland in the early spring, but we weren't sure if he was ready to sprint with that kind (of competition). (Jockey) Robby Albarado liked him, but said he wasn't quick off the gate, so we waited to find the right spot for him and it's benefited us."

He'll been ridden on Sunday by the meet's second leading jockey, Patrick Husbands, from post five.

Carroll's other Grey entrant, Estevan, opened some eyes earlier this year by crushing maidens by a whopping 24 1/4 lengths.

The Jim and Alice Sapara color-bearer subsequently finished third last time out in the Swynford. Grey rival Organ Grinder was second and San Diego Blowout was fifth.

"He's doing very well," Carroll said, of Estevan. "This is the right spot for him."

Constant Montpellier takes over aboard the son of Grand Slam from Todd Kabel, who will ride rival Silver Ticket from post four. Estevan has drawn post five.

When trainer David Bell speaks of Smoocher, he's definitely not paying lip service to a colt who could make some noise in the Grey.

Smoocher, a son of Kissin Kris, shrugged off an eventful fifth-place finish in his career bow on Aug. 9 with a gutsy win on Aug. 31 at the Toronto oval by a nose over Picadilly Bay, an impressive first-time starter.

Now, the Florida-bred make his first two-turn test. Bell believes his fledgling star will be up to the task this weekend.

"He did everything right last time, he just needs to keep on improving, which he should be able to do off his training," praised Bell, of Smoocher. "Two turns shouldn't be a concern with him off pedigree and in the way he works.

"There looks like there's going to be a world of speed in there. It depends on how the race track is playing that day, but it should set up nice for a closer."

Smoocher will leave from post nine in the nine-horse field, with Jim McAleney in the irons.

Last year's Grey Breeders' Cup winner, Wando, used the race as a launching pad to capture Triple Crown glory in 2003.

$276,000 Grey Breeders' Cup Stakes (Can-II), 2-year-olds, 1 1/16 mil
PP / Horse / Trainer / Jockey
1 / Niigon / Eric Coatrieux / Richard Dos Ramos
2 / Twisted Wit / Robert Tiller / David Clark
3 / Tobe Suave / Laurie Silvera / Chantal Sutherland
4 / Silver Ticket / Mark Frostad / Todd Kabel
5 / Estevan / Josie Carroll / Constant Montpellier
6 / Bachelor Blues / Josie Carroll / Patrick Husbands
7 / Organ Grinder / Sid Attard / Simon Husbands
8 / San Diego Blowout / Abraham Katryan / Emile Ramsammy
9 / Smoocher / David Bell / Jim McAleney