by Kent Layne
The Garrison Savannah Handicap to run off this Saturday has drawn a modest field of six horses going 1800 meters and is replete with battles and rivalries throughout the field that carries a purse of $14 000.
Refire, the highest rated horse in the field at 87, is coming off a win and a second place in his two starts for 2018 and will shoulder the top weight of 131 pounds. The dark bay American-bred colt won his first start for 2018 on February 3 in the Palm Beach Condominium defeating Won Grand by three lengths into second place going Saturday’s trip and taking 115 pounds in that exciting clash.
Refire returned on March 17 in the Louis Corbin Memorial going the shorter trip of 1570 meters and losing by a neck in second place to winner Campaigners Gold.
Refire’s archrival Won Grand who has been entered once again in the Garrison Savannah will be looking for her first win for 2018. The Jonathan Simpson-trained 4-year-old filly has not won since beating Donicodidit into the second position and Refire into third in the Diamonds International Piaget Handicap on December 26 last year going 1800 meters. The Angela Simpson and Peter O’neil-owned filly will try to redeem herself after running last in the Louis Corbin Memorial in her last race. Won Grand will take 110 pounds on Saturday.
Trainer of Won Grand Jonathan Simpson said the animal has had a rest, has put on weight and he was looking forward to her winning on Saturday.
2017 Massy United Derby winner Butterfly could be the biggest threat to the top two contenders Refire and Won Grand as she is the third highest-rated horse in the field behind Refire and Won Grand. The Gay Smith- owned filly has had a reasonable year coming off a win on January 22 in the Australia Handicap defeating Zip Code into second place receiving four pounds from the William Clarke-trained Zip Code. However, the handicap will be a different story on Saturday with Butterfly handicapped at 115 pounds by the Barbados Turf Club and Zip Code at 110 may tell the turnaround in the very interesting race.
Zip Code who has not raced since finishing fifth In the Tanglewood Stakes, a race which his archrival Butterfly had placed third, will be looking to score his first win for 2018. The 4-year-old gelding by Zwick won going 1800 meters on December 26 last year closing well from last position and defeating Oberoi who placed third in the 2017 Massy United Derby, a race in which Zip Code had placed 4th. It will be the first time Zip Code will be receiving weight from Butterfly having carried 125 pounds to Butterfly’s 121 in the Tanglewood Stakes on March 3.
Donicodidit who had split both Butterfly and Zip Code int the Tanglewood Stakes when he placed fourth is entered once again. A very interesting factor is that Donicodidit has not raced since running in the Tanglewood Stakes on March 3 which is a common factor he shares with both Butterfly and Zip Code. It is a story which will reveal who needs the race or who runs better fresh off a layoff. Donicodidit could be dangerous at the 116 pounds which he is down to carry.
The second entry from the Gay Smith- stable Arrow Head holds the distinction as the only horse to win from its last start. Arrow Head won on March 17 in the Antonia Corbin Memorial Handicap taking 126 pounds going 1570 meters and defeating Javier who is not entered.
The imported four-year-old Ceroc has been withdrawn.
Post time for Saturday’s eight-race card is 1.30 p.m. with the Garrison Savannah Handicap running off at 4 50 p.m.