06/11/2006 11:00PM

Bad Hat trying turf in Bold Ruckus

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ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Bad Hat, who had to abandon the Queen's Plate trail after contracting a virus, makes his turf debut Wednesday night at Woodbine in the $125,000 Bold Ruckus Stakes.

The six-furlong event has lured just four other Ontario-sired 3-year-olds, including Initforthemoney and Tothemoonandback. All five are trying the grass for the first time.

Bad Hat, trained by Mike DePaulo, won each of his three outings at 2, all in Ontario-sired company. His most impressive effort was probably his decisive tally in the Nov. 23 Frost King Stakes, although he overcame some adversity in the

Dec. 11 Kingarvie Stakes, which he won despite running with a quarter crack.

Bad Hat had a wide journey before finishing a close fifth in his only start this year, the six-furlong Queenston Stakes on May 6.

Part-owner Gerry Belanger trained Bad Hat's sire, Bold Executive. He said Bad Hat got sick just before what was supposed to be his final work for the June 4 Plate Trial Stakes.

"We immediately put on the brakes and backed off," said Belanger. "We're going to do the Ontario-sired thing with him. He'll run in the Deputy Minister Stakes next, and the yearling sales stakes is in September. Down the road, we'll try him long again."

Belanger said he was satisfied with Bad Hat's half-mile work in 49.80 seconds around the dogs over the turf training course last Wednesday.

"He cruised to the pole like he usually does," Belanger said. "Everybody thought it was awfully slow, but I watched him coming down the lane, and I loved his action. Bad Hat is not a tremendous work horse. He only does what you ask him to do."

Initforthemoney was second to Bad Hat twice last year, including in the seven-furlong Frost King. He earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 81 when he won his maiden Dec. 1, and got a Beyer Figure of 88 over a sloppy track in his recent triumph in an open allowance.

Initforthemoney also worked a half-mile on the grass last Wednesday, going in 48.40 seconds, breezing. "I thought he handled it very well," said trainer Laurie Silvera.

Tothemoonandback, a son of Perigee Moon, comes off an eye-catching allowance victory over Ontario-sired opposition in his first start of the year May 7. He subsequently breezed five-eighths in 1:00.20, the fastest of 86 workers at the distance, and followed it up with two more works.

Trainer Reade Baker sent out another offspring of Perigee Moon, Perigee Girl, to finish a good fourth on the grass in last Sunday's Alywow Stakes.