06/06/2005 11:00PM

Baker saddling five in Oaks, three of them off stakes wins

Michael Burns Photo Ltd.
Gold Strike trains on Monday at Woodbine under exercise rider Lia Magi in preparation for Sunday's $500,000 Labatt Woodbine Oaks.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Trainer Reade Baker will have more than strength in numbers going for him when he enters five fillies for Sunday's $500,000 Labatt Woodbine Oaks. He will also have quality.

The Baker quintet includes three fillies that are coming off stakes wins and will be among the top five choices in the 1 1/8-mile Oaks for Canadian-bred 3-year-olds.

A field of 11 for the Woodbine Oaks is expected when the race is drawn on Thursday, beginning at noon in the trackside tent.

Gold Strike, winner of the Grade 2, 1 1/16-mile Selene; Bosskiri, undefeated in four starts, including the seven-furlong Lady Angela; and River Nore, winner of the seven-furlong Fury, are the big guns in the Baker arsenal. Pirouetting and Whiskey and Low will be the barn's other entrants.

Gold Strike, River Nore, and Pirouetting all worked five furlongs here Sunday with Jim McAleney, the regular rider of each filly, in the irons.

River Nore was timed in a bullet 59.80 seconds, Gold Strike in 1:00, and Pirouetting in 1:01.20.

McAleney has opted to stick with Gold Strike, who will be the Oaks favorite. River Nore will be ridden by Patrick Husbands. Assignments for the other Baker runners have not been named.

Dancehall Deelites looks impressive

Several other Oaks hopefuls worked here over the weekend, the most impressive of which was Dancehall Deelites, who breezed six furlongs in 1:12.60 on the training track on Saturday.

Former jockey Larry Attard, brother of trainer Sid Attard, was aboard for the drill. Todd Kabel has the mount for the Oaks.

"I was impressed with her," said Sid Attard, who trains Dancehall Deelites for owner-breeder Bob Harvey. "She galloped out so strong."

Dancehall Deelites rebounded from a dull 2005 debut in the Fury on May 8 to win a 1 1/16-mile first-level allowance by 13 lengths here May 22.

Pirouetting finished second to Dancehall Deelites on May 22, and Victorious Ami, who is also in the Oaks, was another 2 1/2 lengths back in third.

Victorious Ami, winner of the 1 1/16-mile Princess Elizabeth here last October, worked five furlongs on the main track Saturday in 1:01 under regular rider Emile Ramsammy.

"She worked very well," said trainer David Bell, who equipped Victorious Ami with blinkers and will have her race with them for the first time in the Oaks.

Silver Impulse, winner of the 1 1/16-mile Ontario Lassie here last December, worked six furlongs on the main track Saturday in 1:16.40. David Clark was aboard for the drill and has picked up the mount for the Oaks.

"I think she'll run well," said trainer Stanley Baresich. "She's sound, and she'll like going long."

Silver Impulse has started twice this year, finishing third in the Fury and fourth, beaten 16 1/4 lengths, in the Selene.

Charming Ruckus, beaten 9 1/4 lengths while running third in the Selene, also is Oaks-bound, for trainer Malcolm Pierce.

Charming Ruckus breezed four furlongs in 49.60 seconds on Sunday under new rider Jono Jones.

She went in company with her stakes-winning stablemate Lemon Maid, a Kentucky-bred who ran second in the Selene.

"Lemon Maid broke off behind her and they finished up head-and-head," said Pierce.

Archie's Gal, also Oaks-bound, breezed five furlongs on the training track on Sunday in a bullet 1:00. Steve Bahen was aboard for the drill and will ride Archie's Gal in the Oaks.

"I thought she breezed well, and she galloped out good," said trainer Mike DePaulo, who saddled Archie's Gal when she ran second to the since-sidelined former Oaks prospect Between the Clouds in a 1 1/16-mile first-level allowance here May 7.

Another Oaks candidate is Ready and Alluring, who checked in at Woodbine last week.

Ready and Alluring, owned and bred by Bill Sorokolit and trained by Randy Schulhofer, was supplemented to the Oaks for a $5,000 fee. The main reason is surely that she won her maiden by 16 1/2 lengths in a 1 1/16-mile race at Belmont Park in New York in her last start, on May 11.

Nassau was Penna's first local win

Perhaps lost in the shuffle following Sunday's Plate Trial was a dramatic renewal of the Nassau here last Saturday.

The Nassau was won by Que Puntual, an invader from New York who survived two claims of foul before taking home the money in the $357,200 race.

Que Puntual, owned by Earle Mack and trained by Angel Penna, scored her first stakes victory in the Grade 2 Nassau, a 1 1/16-mile turf race for fillies and mares.

Based in New Jersey, Mack is a longtime player in Canadian racing.

Mack owned Peteski, winner of the Canadian Triple Crown in 1993, and was a co-owner of 1994 Queen's Plate runners-up Bruce's Mill in 1994 and Cryptocloser in 1997. Both Bruce's Mill and Cryptocloser came back to win the Prince of Wales, the second jewel in the Canadian Triple Crown, at Fort Erie.

Penna, here to saddle Que Puntual, got his first win at Woodbine. Que Puntual was the first horse he had run here in almost five years.

Cornelio Velasquez, who rode Que Puntual, got his second win at Woodbine; he won the 1996 Toronto Cup with Ok by Me.

Frankel pays a visit

Bobby Frankel, who is training a division for Stronach Stable at Woodbine for the first time, made his first visit here this year on Tuesday morning.

Assistant trainer Brian Lynch is in charge of the day-to-day operation. He has sent out 14 horses, getting one win and five seconds.

"So far, things haven't been the greatest here," said Frankel. "But we're going to get there."

Oaks contenders

Labatt Woodbine Oaks $500,000, 1 1/8 miles, Canadian-bred 3-year-old fillies

Archie's GalM. DePauloS Bahen
BosskiriR. BakerUndecided
Charming RuckusM. PierceJ Jones
Dancehall DeelitesS. AttardT Kabel
Gold StrikeR. BakerJ McAleney
PirouettingR. BakerUndecided
Ready and AlluringR. SchulhoferJ Castellano
River NoreR. BakerP Husbands
Silver ImpulseS. BaresichD Clark
Victorious AmiD. BellE Ramsammy
Whiskey and LowR. BakerUndecided