TORONTO, ON – Undefeated in 2 sprint starts including the Display Stakes, D J Stable’s Helium will attempt to extend his gas tank as he stretches out for Sunday’s $125,000 Grey Stakes (G3) at Woodbine.
The Grey is a 1 1/16-mile synthetic route restricted to 2-year-olds. This year’s edition is the 10th event on a 13-race card and has a local post time of 5:58 PM.
Here’s a look at the full field for the Grey:
1. Haddassah 4/1 – He won his debut on November 1, an off-turf route going roughly this same distance over this same course, and earned a field-best 79 Beyer Speed Figure in the process. Though he drew the rail here, he was only 1 post further out for his debut, and the meet’s leading rider Justin Stein shows confidence retaining the mount after a strong recent work.
2. British Royalty 12/1 – Like Haddassah, he broke his maiden at first asking over this same course and approximate distance, though his Beyer Speed Figure (60) was not nearly as flashy. He lost all chance at the start of the Coronation Futurity after hitting the gate last time out. Trainer Barbara Minshall adds blinkers here, historically a 19% winning move for her.
3. Stephen 3/1 – Not only does he share the same trainer (Kevin Attard) and ownership (Al and Bill Ulwelling) as Haddassah, he also has Justin Stein named to ride. Where Stein ultimately chooses to ride will be telling. This son of red-hot sire Constitution broke his maiden last time out in the Coronation, his third career start, and he should benefit from a hot pace.
4. Lucky Score 20/1 – After finishing next-to-last as the 5/2 favorite in his career debut, he left the local turf for the main track and responded with a game neck score despite dueling throughout. He’s yet to race beyond 6 1/2 furlongs, but his breeding indicates that he should have no issues with routing. Expect to see him on the front end early.
5. Barrister Tom 8/1 – He gives the synthetic surface a try after winning 2 of his 3 starts on turf, including the More Than Ready Juvenile Stakes at Kentucky Downs (his career debut on dirt was a bust). He struggled in the Bourbon Stakes (G2) last time out, but that was a tougher group: the winner made his next start in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1).
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6. Lomaki’s Gem 20/1 – He broke his maiden at third asking last time out, making every pole a winning one in an off-turf event over the local course. Jerome Lermyte retains the mount for the second time, and though he and trainer Stuart Simon have only teamed up 6 times prior in the past 2 years, they won 3 of those while paying a hefty $7.52 ROI.
7. Helium 2/1 – The first of two from leading trainer Mark Casse, he broke his maiden at first asking by 3 1/4 lengths, then posted an even more decisive victory in the Display (4 1/4 lengths). He will have to prove that he can extend that same talent through turn turns, but his sire was a 2-time stakes route winner and his dam did so 4 times, so he should handle it, too.
8. Easy Time 6/1 – The second Casse entry broke his maiden on debut in a local main track event on October 25, winning by an easy 2 3/4 lengths as the 7/5 favorite. Like his stablemate, his only race experience came in a 7-furlong sprint, so he must stretch out successfully here. Since 2019, Casse and jockey Rafael Hernandez have won 30% together (122 mounts).
9. Gospel Way 15/1 – He broke his maiden on debut in a 5-furlong sprint over the local main track but failed to repeat that result in his 3 subsequent starts, all stakes. His best result was a second-place effort in the Display, but he was well behind Helium and must stretch out to two turns for the first time, but his breeding hints that he could do it.