Updated on 09/15/2011 12:38PM

Alea Iacta Est set to end skid


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Alea Iacta Est, a bang-up third in his most recent outing, in the Grade 2 Nearctic Handicap, should be well backed to end a winless drought in Friday's Woodbine feature.

A field of seven was drawn for the $100,000 optional claimer, which will be run at six furlongs on the grass for a purse of $60,000.

Alea Iacta Est hasn't won a race in the past two seasons, but has run some dandy races during that time. He was fourth in a division of the Play the King Handicap here last summer, and was 60-1 when he lost the Grade 3 Laurel Dash Oct. 28 by a nose to Texas Glitter.

Alea Iacta Est wasted a few efforts over Laurel's main track during the winter, and was reunited with trainer John MacKenzie here in the spring. He was a fast-closing second coming off a layoff in a $62,500 optional claimer on the grass June 13, a race in which he was beaten a neck by longshot Run Lil Tooch.

Alea Iacta Est mounted a wide rally from five lengths off the pace to finish a length back in the six-furlong Nearctic. Left in his wake was heavily favored Texas Glitter, who won the Calder Turf Sprint Handicap in his next appearance.

Alea Iacta Est does his best running while closing at six furlongs, so he shouldn't have any excuses Friday, unless a slow pace materializes. A 6-year-old gelding, he is owned by Green Oaks Farm and will run for a $100,000 claiming price.

Entered from the rail out in the race are Exaltation, with apprentice Chantel Sutherland aboard; Perlong, Na Somsanith; Alea Iacta Est, Emile Ramsammy; Code Name Louie, Mickey Walls; Oye Yoye Yoye, David Clark; Prowl, Constant Montpellier; and Frank's Selection, Paul Souter.

Perlong immediately displayed a fondness for the grass when he finished second in a seven-furlong dash at this level June 30. He won the 2000 Kenora Stakes for trainer Dave Dwyer.

* Saratoga Prince, one of the faster sprinters on the grounds, will make his debut on the grass in the supporting feature on the card, a one-mile event for $80,000 optional claimers.

Saratoga Prince reversed his speed style and came from nine lengths back to win his last outing in a classified allowance, in which earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 98. Trainer Earl Barnett sent him out to work a half-mile in 48.20 seconds over the turf training course June 17.

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