06/28/2004 11:00PM

Back to sprinting for Tiller pair


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Twisted Wit and Nyuk Nyuk Nyuk both were considered to be potential Queen's Plate material heading into this season.

However, Twisted Wit and Nyuk Nyuk Nyuk, both trained by Bob Tiller, saw their Queen's Plate hopes evaporate when they were outdistanced in their last starts around two turns.

Both horses will be back here Thursday in their preferred milieu, which is sprinting, and will be looking to atone in the six-furlong Achievement Handicap.

Owned by Rolph Davis, Twisted Wit won two sprint stakes here last year and opened up his current campaign with a victory in the seven-furlong Queenston before coming undone in the 1 1/8-mile Plate Trial.

Twisted Wit, who has a history of behavioral problems in the paddock and gate, broke in the air at the start of the Trial.

"He flipped his palate, lost his air, when he acted up leaving there," said Tiller. "That's my guess. He came back dead sound, and scoped perfect."

Tiller said Twisted Wit has continued to work with the gate crew and will be backed into the gate on Thursday.

"I expect a huge race, if he can get over this gate thing," said Tiller. "This horse wants to go one turn, but six furlongs might be a touch short for him."

Nyuk Nyuk Nyuk won the six-furlong Woodstock in his seasonal debut, then finished third in the Queenston before being eased in the 1 1/16-mile Marine.

"His last race has to be totally discarded," said Tiller. "He had a neurological problem. We've got control over that now.

"I think he'll be a far better horse. If the speed falters, he'll come running."

The Judge Sez Who ready for first local start

Trainer Mark Casse will send out an interesting pair for Thursday's other stakes race, the 1 1/4-mile Dominion Day Handicap for 3-year-olds and upward, in The Judge Sez Who and Hydrogren.

The Judge Sez Who, who has spent the majority of his career in Florida, will be making his local debut and his first start for Casse.

"I've had him now for about a month," said Casse. "He's not much of a work horse.

"He's an old pro. I've tried not to do a whole lot with him, just keep him happy."

The Judge Sez Who, a 5-year-old Florida-bred homebred who runs for Sez Who Racing, has won eight races, including three stakes, and $913,436 during his 29-start career.

But being based at Calder became somewhat limiting for The Judge Sez Who, prompting his move north to Woodbine, which is a much more convenient location when it comes to shipping opportunities.

But first comes the Dominion Day, in which The Judge Sez Who will be looking to regain his winning ways following a 10-race drought.

"He'll need some pace to run at," said Casse.

Hydrogen, a 5-year-old Kentucky-bred owned by Earle Mack, has not seen action since becoming a stakes winner in the 1 3/4-mile Valedictory here Nov. 30, the closing day of the 2003 meeting.

"He's doing great," said Casse. "It's just a matter of getting ready to go a mile and a quarter. He's got lots and lots of miles under him; he's been ready to run for about three months."

Casse has entered Hydrogen twice at the meeting, but scratched him from both the May 2 Eclipse prep and the May 24 Eclipse.

"The first time, he tied up a little bit before the race," said Casse. "The next time we didn't want to run him in a sea of slop."

Casse was encouraged by Hydrogen's final Dominion Day workout, a one-mile drill in 1:39.80 over the fast main track here last Saturday.

"I think he'll give a good showing," the trainer said.

South Bay Cove turns in bullet workout

South Bay Cove, a leading candidate for Sunday's $125,000 My Dear Stakes, zipped four furlongs in 46.60 seconds on the fast main track here Tuesday morning. The workout, which came in company with 2-year-old stablemate Snuff (47.20), was the fastest of 10 at the distance.

Owned and bred by Bill Graham's Windhaven Farm and trained by Roger Attfield, South Bay Cove is by Fusaichi Pegasus out of Canadian champion Fantasy Lake.

Jockey Robert Landry was aboard for Tuesday's drill and has the call for the My Dear.

Todd Kabel rode South Bay Cove to her maiden victory here May 22 but will be at Fort Erie on Sunday to ride the undefeated Eye of the Sphynx, winner of the June 13 Woodbine Oaks, in the $250,000 Bison City Stakes.

Back from foot injury, Nashinda breezes

Nashinda, sidelined on the eve of the Oaks with a foot bruise, returned to training last week and had her first breeze Tuesday, going in 47.20 seconds on the main track.

Apprentice jockey Corey Fraser was aboard for the drill.

Mac Benson, who trains Nashinda for owner-breeder George Strawbridge Jr., has no specific timetable for Nashinda's next start.

"I'll get at least maybe a couple of more breezes into her," he said.