08/25/2004 11:00PM

Bachelor Blues faces older by default


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Having a talented turf horse, particularly an American-bred 3-year-old, can be an exercise in patience at Woodbine.

That's why Bachelor Blues, a Kentucky-bred colt, will take on older rivals here in Saturday's Grade 3, $173,400 Play the King Handicap at seven furlongs on turf.

Bachelor Blues has been entered for several turf races this meet that were transferred to the main track, said Josie Carroll, who trains Bachelor Blues for his owner and breeder, Bill Schettine.

"He's in there simply because I can't get to run him on this course," said Carroll.

Bachelor Blues certainly has performed well enough when given the opportunity, and is coming off a second-place finish in the Grade 3 Toronto Cup, a 1 1/8-mile turf race for 3-year-olds here July 17.

In his only other appearance at the meeting, Bachelor Blues finished third in the Charlie Barley, a one-mile turf race for 3-year-olds that was his first start in more than 10 weeks.

Bachelor Blues is a free-wheeling type who has been effective in turf sprints, and Carroll has no concern over the cutback to seven furlongs.

"He'll love the distance," Carroll said, "but it's much tougher company."

'Picking spots' for Prince Alphie

Carroll will field a second Play the King entrant in Prince Alphie, a Kentucky-bred 4-year-old who also runs for his breeder, Schettine. Prince Alphie also has been lightly raced at this meeting, but more by design than circumstance.

"We've been picking our spots," said Carroll.

Prince Alphie won a classified allowance at a mile on turf here July 29. His other starts here this year were a second-place finish May 15 in the one-mile turf prep for the Grade 3 Connaught Cup and a fourth in the Cup, at 1 1/16 miles on grass May 30.

Carroll points out that Prince Alphie also has been effective going shorter on the grass. His only stakes win came in the Black Gold Handicap, a 7 1/2-furlong race for 3-year-olds on the Fair Grounds turf course in January 2003.

Bachelor Blues finished second in the Black Gold this year.

Hour of Justice in Canadian prep

Hour of Justice, a Kentucky-bred 4-year-old filly owned by Stronach Stable and trained by Mike Keogh, was nominated to the Play the King but will run in Saturday's 1 1/16-mile turf prep for the Canadian Handicap.

The Grade 2, $250,000 Canadian, a 1 1/8-mile turf race for fillies and mares, will be run here Sept. 19, Atto Mile Day.

"There's not a whole lot here for her," said Keogh. "This race should give me a better idea of her options."

Hour of Justice won the Royal North prep and the Grade 3 Royal North, both at six furlongs on turf, in her only two starts this year.

Keogh has earmarked the Grade 3, $150,000 Noble Damsel, a one-mile turf race for fillies and mares at Belmont on Sept. 25, as a possible target for Hour of Justice.

"But if she runs well enough Saturday, I might just keep her here for the Canadian," Keogh said.

Royal Regalia sent to Saratoga

Royal Regalia, another Stronach Stable runner who was nominated to the Play the King, has been entered in Saturday's Grade 2, $200,000 Fourstardave Handicap, a 1 1/16-mile turf race at Saratoga.

Based at Fort Erie with trainer Justin Nixon, Royal Regalia established a course record of 1:31.84 for one mile on turf in his last start here, on July 1. Royal Regalia was competing under fourth-level allowance terms that day and will make his stakes debut in the Fourstardave.

One for Rose breezes for Algoma

One for Rose, Canada's reigning champion older female, breezed five furlongs in 1:01.20 on the "good" training track Thursday in preparation for the Algoma Stakes. Regular rider Emile Ramsammy was aboard for the drill.

The Algoma, a 1 1/16-mile race for fillies and mares, will be one of six yearling stakes run here Sept. 5.

"It was a nice, easy breeze," said Sid Attard, who trains One for Rose for Tucci Stable. "I didn't want to work her too close to the race. She ran so good last time without working."

One for Rose, a 5-year-old who was upset by perennial rival Winning Chance in the 1 1/16-mile Belle Mahone here July 18, had not recorded an interim workout when she returned Aug. 7 and dominated males in the 1 1/16-mile Seagram Cup.

Last year, One for Rose defeated Winning Chance by 9 1/2 lengths in the Algoma.

Choice of races for My Vintage Port

My Vintage Port, Canada's reigning champion 2-year-old filly, also breezed five furlongs on the training track Thursday, going in 1:01 under regular rider Jono Jones.

Owned by her trainer, Ken Parsley, and Rick Pettifer, My Vintage Port should start either in Wednesday's Eternal Search or next Saturday's Ontario Colleen.

Both races are for 3-year-old fillies, with the Eternal Search a 1 1/16-mile dirt race for Ontario-sired runners and the Ontario Colleen an open race at one mile on turf.

My Vintage Port is coming off an upset score over Eye of the Sphynx, who is Colleen-bound, in the Wonder Where at 1 1/4 miles on turf here Aug. 1.

* Jim McAleney will be at Northlands Park on Saturday to ride Organ Grinder for Attard in the Canadian Derby. Woodbine will offer simulcast wagering on the Canadian Derby, which has a post time of 6:46 p.m. Eastern.