Trained by Todd Pletcher, Caixa Eletronica never threatened in his last two Grade 1 appearances, finishing eighth in the Whitney Invitational Handicap on August 4 and fourth in the Forego at Saratoga Race Course. On Saturday, he will cut back to six furlongs, at which he is 3-1-2 from seven starts, including a victory in the Grade 2 True North Handicap on June 9 at Belmont and a third in last year’s Vosburgh.
Favored at 3-1 on the morning line for the “Win and You’re In” race for the Breeders’ Cup Sprint on November 3 at Santa Anita Park is Zayat Stables’ Justin Phillip. Most recently second by a neck to fellow Vosburgh entrant Poseidon’s Warrior in the Grade 1 Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap on August 5 at Saratoga, the First Samurai colt rebounded from a sixth in the Grade 3 Tom Fool Handicap at the start of his 4-year-old campaign to win a six-furlong optional claimer at Belmont, and then finished second in the True North.
Ramon Dominguez will ride Justin Phillip from post position 10 for trainer Steve Asmussen, who also entered Vanderbilt fifth-place finisher Rothko.
Coupled in the wagering and listed at 7-2 on the morning line are Barry Schwartz’s Sean Avery, winner of the 2011 Vanderbilt, and Black Swan Stable’s The Lumber Guy, making his first start since a sixth in the Grade 2 Peter Pan in May.
Now 6, Sean Avery will be making his second start of 2012 in the Vosburgh, having come off a 13-month break to win the Affiliate overnight stakes on September 8 at Belmont. In 2011, the gelded son of Cherokee Run was 4-1-0 from five starts, including the Vanderbilt, before being sidelined with a tendon injury.
Joe Bravo will ride the Allen Iwinski trainee from post position 4.
The Lumber Guy, one of two 3-year-olds in the race, won his first two starts this year by a combined margin of 13 ½ lengths before finishing fifth in the Grade 1 Resorts World Casino New York City Wood Memorial at Aqueduct Racetrack. He returned two weeks later to win the Grade 2 Jerome, and was given time off after the Peter Pan.
“I don’t know how it will set up, but I think he’ll be close to the pace,” said trainer Mike Hushion. “I don’t know if he’ll be the pace or not. He’s very sharp right now. We’ll see how fast and how far he can run.”
Hall of Famer John Velazquez will be aboard The Lumber Guy, who drew post position 5.
Poseidon’s Warrior, who was 36-1 when he upset the Vanderbilt in the mud, is the 4-1 third choice as he makes his second Belmont appearance. As a 2-year-old in 2010, the Butch Reid trainee was second as the 3-5 favorite to Vosburgh entrant Royal Currier in the Grey Planet overnight stakes.
Irad Ortiz, Jr., will be aboard the Swilcan Stables color-bearer as he leaves from the rail.
Joining The Lumber Guy as the only other sophomore in the Vosburgh is Fort Loudon, trained by Hall of Famer Nick Zito. Winner of three straight sprints at Calder Race Course for former trainer Stanley Gold, Fort Loudon was fifth in the Grade 2 Amsterdam and second, beaten a half-length, in the Grade 1 Foxwoods King’s Bishop last time out at Saratoga.
Corey Nakatani will ride the Fred Brei homebred, 6-1 on the morning line, from post position 6.
Rounding out the field are Little Drama, winner of a Saratoga optional claimer last time out; Affiliate runner-up Zero Rate Policy, and Royal Currier, third in the Affiliate.