Vosburgh Invitational 2013 Contenders at Belmont Park

Dave Bond | OTB Writer
Updated: September 27, 2013 -- 12:02 PM ET

Las Vegas, NV - The Grade 1 Vosburgh Invitational is on tap for this Saturday, September 28 from Belmont Park in Elmont, New York. Horses three years old and upward will be involved in this six furlong dash as they chase the winner's share of the $400,000 purse on Belmont Park's dirt track.

Eight older entries have been confirmed for the Vosburgh - race 7 on Belmont Park's jam-packed Saturday card. Post time is 4:13 PM. Here is a brief look into the credentials of all eight combatants for the second of five Grade 1 stakes to be contested at Belmont Park on Saturday. The winner of the Vosburgh will receive an all-expenses paid berth in the BC Sprint as part of the "Win & You're In" challenge series.

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2013 Vosburgh Invitational Race Favorite Entries

Justin Phillip - multiple graded stakes winner and Steve Asmussen trainee ended 2012 with a fifth in the Breeders' Cup Sprint behind Trinniberg and started 2013 with an OK third in the Grade 2 Palos Verdes. He looked good in the spring in a pair of races at Oaklawn Park posting wins in an Allowance Optional Claiming and the Grade 3 Count Fleet Sprint Handicap over the scorching Gentlemen's Bet. He followed that with a good second in the Grade 2 True North Handicap at Belmont Park in June and finished fourth in the Grade 2 Smile Sprint Handicap at Calder behind Trinniberg. Last time out was an Ok third in the Grade 1 Forego behind Strapping Groom August 31 after a career best performance - a great win in the Grade 1 Vanderbilt Handicap at Saratoga August 4. Justin Phillip's recent success has him the 3-1 favorite on the morning line. He leaves from post 2 with John Velazquez in the saddle.

Forty Tales - Todd Pletcher pupil started two-for-two in his career including an Allowance score January 5 at Parx and a MSW score at Aqueduct November 24. He was a disappointing fifth in the Grade 3 Swale Stakes at Gulfstream March 2 after a good second in the Grade 2 Hutcheson Stakes as 9-5 favorite February 2 but then posted three straight terrific wins - in the Grade 3 Derby Trial by a neck over Capo Bastone April 27, the Grade 2 Woody Stephens over Declan's Warrior by three quarters of a length June 8 at Belmont Park and in the Grade 2 Amsterdam July 28. Last time out was a fourth in the Grade 1 King's Bishop Stakes at Saratoga August 24. He has won five of eight career starts (three straight graded stakes starts) and will be looking to get back to his winning form Saturday. Forty Tales will depart from the rail as the 7-2 second choice with Javier Castellano in the reigns.

Vosburgh Invitational 2013 | Remaining Contenders

Private Zone - Canadian bred Doug O'Neill entry had a string of four straight second place finishes including the Grade 3 Vernon Underwood, the Grade 1 Malibu and the Grade 2 Palos Verses in January end with a ninth in the Grade 1 Dubai Golden Shaheen in March. His only other start of 2013 was a win in the minor Pirate's Bounty Stakes at Del Mar September 4. Private Zone is the co-third choice at 4-1 odd and lines up in the far outside post Saturday.

Bahamian Squall had the biggest win of his career - the Grade 2 Smile Sprint Handicap at Calder July 6 and followed that with a good second last time out in the Grade 1 Vanderbilt Handicap August 4. He started his year with a second in the Sunshine Millions Sprint to Off the Jak in January and followed that with an OK third in the Grade 3 Gulfstream Park Sprint in February. Bahamian Squall has four wins, five seconds and a third place finish in 13 career starts and will be looking to regain the consistent form that saw him finish first or second in five straight to end last year. Bahamian Squall is listed at 4-1 odds and departs from post 3 Saturday.

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Strapping Groom - raced in graded stakes company for the first time in July and finished fifth in the Grade 3 James Marvin here but followed that with a good win in the minor Kid Russell Stakes August 12 and his best ever result - a win last time out in the Grade 1 Forego Stakes at Saratoga August 31 at 15-1 odds. Before the James Marvin he won three times and finished second twice in his five previous starts including a nice 3 1/2 length win in the 6 1/2 furlong minor Lion Cavern Stakes at Belmont Park June 26 and an unfortunate 11 month layoff. Strapping Groom has eight wins, five seconds and a third place finish in 22 career starts and can't be discounted after his impressive score last time out. He will leave from post 4 at 5-1 odds.

The Lumber Guy - previously impressive Lumber Guy has 10 career starts with four wins including last year's Vosburgh September 29, the Grade 2 Jerome Stakes on April 21, 2012, last year's Miracle Wood Stakes on February 25 and a Maiden Special Weight race in January 2012. He was a close second to Trinniberg in the Breeders' Cup Sprint in November but hasn't been the same since - a pair of seventh followed the Breeders' Cup - the Grade 1 Malibu Stakes as favorite December 26 and the Grade 2 San Carlos in February led to a six month layoff. He returned August 23 to a second in the minor Chowder's First Stakes at Saratoga. Despite success in this race The Lumber Guy is 8-1 on the morning line - he departs from post 5.

Candyman E - has 17 career starts with seven wins, three seconds and three third place finishes. He had four straight wins the summer of 2011 before a short layoff and a fourth in the Grade 3 Toboggan Stakes here February 4 of 2012. He endured another long 1 year layoff and returned with a second in an Allowance Optional Claiming February 6 and a nice win in the minor Bensalem Stakes at Parx March 12. He is coming off a second in the minor Kid Russell Stakes August 12 after a pair of fourths in minor stakes action and an OK third in the Grade 3 Commonwealth Stakes at Keeneland in April.

Palace - Linda Rice trained colt races in graded stakes company for the first time but is coming off a win in his stakes debut - in the minor Chowder's First Stakes at Saratoga August 23, He has two wins and two seconds in five starts this year and has six wins, two seconds and two thirds in 12 career starts. Palace is the longest shot in the field at 20-1 odds for the Vosburgh.


2013 Vosburgh Invitational Entries & Odds

Race 7 on Belmont Park's Saturday card with a Post Time of 4:13 PM.

Entry Horse Jockey Trainer ML Odds
1 Forty Tales J. Castellano T. Pletcher
7-2
2 Justin Phillip J. Velazquez S. Asmussen
3-1
3 Bahamian Squall L. Saez D. Fawkes
4-1
4 Strapping Groom J. Alvarado D. Jacobson
5-1
5 The Lumber Guy M. Luzzi M. Hushion
8-1
6 Palace C. Velasquez L. Rice
20-1
7 Candyman E J. Bravo M. Mareina
12-1
8 Private Zone M. Pedroza D. O'Neill
4-1

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