Greyes Creek: The Horse You Need to Follow

By J. Keeler Johnson ("Keelerman") Twitter: @J_Keelerman

In reviewing the entries for the upcoming Saturday card at Gulfstream Park, I must admit to experiencing a feeling of déjà vu.

The eighth race of the day is a 1 1/16-mile allowance optional claiming race in which #1 Greyes Creek (3-1) looms as a key contender. The 4-year-old gray might not be a household name just yet... but isn't he progressing in pretty much the same direction as 2019 Horse of the Year Bricks and Mortar?

Regular readers of Unlocking Winners might recall I was a huge fan of Bricks and Mortar. Just check out this post from 2018, when I dedicated nearly 900 words to expounding on the virtues of Bricks and Mortar's breathtaking acceleration.

At the time, Bricks and Mortar hadn't run in more than a year. But under the patient care of trainer Chad Brown, Bricks and Mortar finally returned to action in a Dec. 22, 2018 allowance race over a mile on turf at Gulfstream Park. Showcasing his trademark turn-of-foot, Bricks and Mortar rallied boldly to win by half a length, setting the stage for victories in the Pegasus World Cup Turf (G1) and four other 2019 Grade 1 events.

Now I feel as though history is repeating itself with Greyes Creek. Trained by Brown on behalf of OXO Equine, Greyes Creek has always been a highly-regarded prospect. A son of Pioneerof the Nile out of the stakes-winning Stormy Atlantic mare American Lady, Greyes Creek sold for a lofty $850,000 as a 2-year-old in training.

With a pedigree geared toward success on dirt, Greyes Creek debuted over the Saratoga main track in August 2018. Favored at just over 2-1, Greyes Creek raced evenly to split the field in fourth place. He didn't fare much better in two subsequent dirt runs during the fall, finishing second and fourth while facing future stakes winners A Thread of Blue and Moretti, among others.

Greyes Creek subsequently went to the sidelines for an extended duration and wound up missing all of the 2019 season. He finally returned to action in a 1-mile maiden race on Mar. 27 at Gulfstream Park, where he switched to turf and unleashed a deceptively strong rally to finish fifth. Greyes Creek actually gained 5 1/4 lengths through the final furlong, which he clocked in :11.34.

It turns out this was a sign of big things to come. In another 1-mile grass maiden race on June 12 at Churchill Downs, Greyes Creek stayed a bit closer to the early pace, then roared through the final quarter in :22.86 to dominate by 3 1/2 lengths. And on July 8 at Keeneland, Greyes Creek displayed a similarly spectacular turn-of-foot to rally and win a 1-mile turf allowance race in eye-catching fashion.

The latter effort was particularly impressive because Greyes Creek initially appeared to be too far out of the mix at the top of the stretch. But even though he was racing over an unfamiliar damp course labeled "good," Greyes Creek managed to dash the final quarter in a blazing :22.31 to prevail by a neck. Suffice to say, Greyes Creek was absolutely full of run down the lane, and his performance was more impressive than the bare margin of victory suggests.

Greyes Creek did miss some training time in September, but he's breezed like clockwork since returning to the work tab in October, cranking out nine workouts in preparation for Saturday's race. A couple of spins over the turf course at Palm Meadows should have Greyes Creek ready to roll at Gulfstream Park, where he'll face a solid test breaking from the rail against a large field led by 2019 Twilight Derby (G2) runner-up #12 Succeedandsurpass (5-2).

But I'll be honest—if Greyes Creek runs anywhere near as well on Saturday as he did during the summer at Keeneland, I expect him to win impressively. I believe Greyes Creek could be a monster turf horse in the making, and another stretch-running success at Gulfstream Park can propel him toward a start in the 2021 Pegasus World Cup Turf. Who knows? Perhaps Greyes Creek can follow the trail blazed by Bricks and Mortar and use an ordinary December allowance race at Gulfstream Park as a springboard toward a championship season.

Check out the past performances and let me know what you think! Do you agree Greyes Creek has the potential to be something special?


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J. Keeler Johnson (also known as "Keelerman") is a writer, videographer, voice actor, handicapper, and all-around horse racing enthusiast. A great fan of racing history, he considers Dr. Fager to be the greatest racehorse ever produced in America, but counts Zenyatta as his all-time favorite. He is the founder of the horse racing website

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