The six-year-old Green Mask had credibly taken on some of the best turf sprinters the world had to offer in back-to-back Breeders’ Cups and in such exotic locales as Dubai and Hong Kong, but it took until Friday’s Kentucky Oaks undercard for the son of Mizzen Mast to earn his first graded stakes win in the $150,000 Twin Spires Turf Sprint at Churchill Downs.
The 3-1 second choice in a field of 10, Green Mask rallied from mid-pack to wear down loose-on-the-lead Latent Revenge and won going away by two lengths under Javier Castellano in a time of :58.02 on a rain-soaked course rated good. He paid $8.60 for owner Abdullah Saeed Almaddah and trainer Brad Cox.
“Javier (Castellano) did exactly what he was supposed to do — sitting on the outside and let the speed get away,” Cox said. “He let him settle in mid-pack sitting off the pacesetters, which was probably a good thing being on the outside today with the turf draining down to the inside.
“Next time? Maybe in New York or maybe we’ll look to the West Coast as well. He’s without a doubt a one-turn sprinter on turf and that’s where we’ll keep him.”
Latent Revenge, sent off at 23-1, easily held on for second after early splits of :22.69 and :46.29. Why Two rallied for third over 3-2 favorite Pure Sensation, with Wilbo, Holding Gold, Partly Mocha, Derek’s Smile, Expected Ruler, and Tell All You Know.
Green Mask’s record now stands at 24-6-7-3, $739,066. Previously the winner of the $100,000 Paradise Creek at Belmont in 2014 and the $75,000 Bonapaw at Fair Grounds this past December, the gelding has several prominent placings to his credit, including thirds in the Al Quoz Sprint (G1) and Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1) in 2015. He opened up his 2017 account with seconds in the $50,000 Colonel Power at Fair Grounds and the Shakertown (G2) at Keeneland.
Bred in Kentucky by D. J. Stable, Green Mask was produced by Bonsai Beauty, a Forestry half-sister to Grade 2 winner Masseuse.