As it turns out, a preliminary allowances for state-bred males 3 & up going 7 furlongs on the Widener Turf is the big event of the day and, unfortunately for some, it comes down to a battle between favorites.

This summer after a short, issue-plagued career, Mississippi Duel (2-1) found his niche, going 7/8s of the Elmont lawn: Two starts, two wins. The Dale Romans owned and trained 4YO was given Saratoga off--by necessity or design--and she emerged possible an even better horse. Certainly the class rise is a sing of confidence and Javier Castellano would be leading rider without the help of the best horses.

But we're taking Captain Gauguin (5-2), a 3YO that's been keeping NY-bred stakes company and has been highly competitive, albeit without a win. Away since his third in the NY Stallion Stakes at Saratoga, trainer Jimmy Ryerson is profitable when returning with this type of spacing. Jose Lezcano doesn't figure to allow the favorite to get free on an unpressured lead and the sophomore is presumed to wear his rival down in the late stages here.

Taking Captain Gauguin to win at 2-1 or greater and an excta box with his main rival.

Number of Selections since May, 2007: 1400

Number of Win-Place-Show Finishers: 428-266-212

Amount Wagered: $2,800 [to win only]

Total Dollar Return on Investment: $2,913.50

Profit to Date: $113.50