06/01/2007 12:00AM

Arlington shippers seek Plate glory


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Cobrador and It's a Danzig checked in from Arlington Park on Friday morning, both out to use Sunday's Plate Trial as a springboard to the $1 million Queen's Plate on June 24 at Woodbine.

Cobrador, trained by Richie Scherer, takes up temporary residence in the barn of trainer Malcolm Pierce, while It's a Danzig, trained by Rebecca Maker, is in Mike Keogh's shed row.

The $150,000 Plate Trial, a 1 1/8-mile race for Canadian-bred 3-year-olds, will be the second appearance by Cobrador at Woodbine, but the first for Scherer.

Cobrador was shipped here to trainer Mike DePaulo last fall for the 1 1/8-mile Coronation Futurity, and ran an uninspired eighth.

Cobrador then returned to his previous trainer, Paul McGee, and ran well in two stakes on Turfway Park's Polytrack surface before being purchased privately by Graph Racing Stable.

In his first two starts for the new owners, Cobrador finished third in Keeneland's Transylvania over one mile of turf and 10th in the American Turf over 1 1/8 miles on yielding turf at Churchill Downs.

Several days after the American Turf, Cobrador was moved to Scherer's care.

"He's a horse that's getting bigger and stronger all the time, like most 3-year-olds are at this time of year," said Scherer from his base at Arlington Park. "Looking at the form on him, I'm a little concerned about why he ran so poorly up there before.

"He ran pretty good on the Poly at Turfway. I think he's going to be a better grass horse, but he does tolerate the Poly."

Emile Ramsammy, who won last year's Queen's Plate aboard Edenwold, picks up the mount on Cobrador, who will race without blinkers for the first time since last October.

It's a Danzig in Trial off maiden score

It's a Danzig, a $500,000 yearling purchase, comes into the Plate Trial off a maiden win at 1 1/8 miles on firm turf at Churchill.

"We really liked the horse last year, and the plan was to have him ready for the Queen's Plate," said Maker. "But we had to take a chip out of his ankle last fall. That was a setback."

It's a Danzig had started twice at the time, finishing second over one mile at Arlington and second over one mile on turf at Hawthorne. He was away from the races for six months.

"He came back and never missed a beat," said Maker. "It was a tight schedule."

It's a Danzig returned with a second-place finish over seven furlongs at Keeneland on April 25 before winning his maiden at Churchill May 10.

It's a Danzig has raced at four racetracks and under a variety of conditions, which might bode well for his chances at Woodbine.

"He's run well on Poly, turf, dirt, all kinds of tracks," said Maker. "He's just the kind of horse that trains good every day. He's a horse that has speed and can carry it."

Emma-Jayne Wilson has picked up the mount on It's a Danzig.

Woodbine Oaks field taking shape

A field of 10 is likely for next Sunday's $500,000 Woodbine Oaks, a 1 1/8-mile race for Canadian-bred 3-year-old fillies.

Heading the local contingent are Sealy Hill, who is coming off a 12th-place finish in the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs over a muddy 1 1/8 miles on May 4, and Saskawea, runner-up to the Kentucky-bred Bear Now in the Grade 3, 1 1/16-mile Selene here May 20.

Sealy Hill is trained by Mark Casse, Saskawea by Steve Attard.

Street Sounds, Belleplaine, and Christies Treasure are expected to ship from south of the border for the Woodbine Oaks.

Street Sounds, trained by Michael Matz, has won three stakes, the latest coming over one mile on turf in the Hilltop at Pimlico last time out. She is based at the Fair Hill, Md., training center.

Belleplaine, trained by Todd Pletcher, will make her stakes debut in the Canadian Oaks after trouncing maiden special weight and first-level allowance opposition in Maryland in her last two starts. She is based at Belmont Park.

Christies Treasure, also trained by Pletcher, won her last start over 1o1/16 miles on turf at Keeneland on April 11. A member of Pletcher's string at Arlington, Christies Treasure has made all five of her starts on grass.

Suva, who shipped in last week from Hastings in Vancouver, will be supplemented to the Woodbine Oaks at a cost of $12,500. She is trained by Steve Henson.

Locals pointed toward the Woodbine Oaks are Quiet Jungle, Dance to My Tune, Love You Crazy, and Palace Pier.

Toronto TRC meeting Wednesday

The Toronto Thoroughbred Racing Club will hold its monthly meeting at Woodbine on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. in the third-floor Champions area.

The TTRC also will hold its 45th annual awards day, honoring the stars of 2006, at the same location on June 17.

Cold War, owned by trainer Vernon Fernandes and his wife, Pat Fernandes, will receive the club's claimer of the year award for 2006, while Jim Bannon, longtime analyst and television host for Woodbine, will receive the merit award for contributions to the sport.

Emma-Jayne Wilson will be honored as both top jockey and top apprentice jockey, based on races won, while Sid Attard will receive the Frank Merrill Jr. Memorial Trophy, which goes to the leading trainer in races won.

Sam-Son Farm will receive of the owner of the year award, based on money won.

* Woodbine moves to a five-day-a-week racing schedule, adding Thursdays this week. Entries for Thursday's card will be taken Monday.