04/13/2006 11:00PM

Baker to weigh track's nature

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ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Stablemates Gold Strike and Bosskiri will attract lots of the attention in Sunday's $125,000 Whimsical Stakes at Woodbine, but trainer Reade Baker said he might not run both of them in the six-furlong sprint for older females.

"I've entered them both, and it will depend on the track," Baker explained. "The plan could change, but the plan right now is to run Gold Strike if it's fast, and Bosskiri if it's not."

Gold Strike won the Sovereign Award for last year's champion 3-year-old, and was third in the voting for Canadian Horse of the Year. She captured the Grade 3 Selene Stakes and the $502,000 Woodbine Oaks before finishing a valiant third in the Queen's Plate.

Baker said the deep nature of the track hindered Gold Strike's chances in the 1 1/4-mile Plate, and she came out of it a little the worse for wear.

"She had some minor tears in her high suspensories," Baker said. "I think it came from the deep track. I think the deep track made her stop. It wasn't the [competition] or the distance."

Gold Strike has not run since the June 26 Plate, but Baker believes that she is ready for a top effort after a working six furlongs in 1:14.40 seconds last Sunday.

"She's 100 percent now," Baker said.

Bosskiri was third in the allowance prep for the Whimsical, after failing to attain her usual position on the front end. It was her first outing since she finished a well-beaten fifth in the June 12 Oaks.

"She had been off a long time," Baker said, "and it was the first time that she'd been challenged up front. I expect a better race out of her if she runs. If I don't run her, then I'll just point her to the Ballade Stakes."

A field of 15 - with one also-eligible - was drawn for the Grade 3 Whimsical, which also includes Friendly Theresa and Colonial Surprise.

Friendly Theresa has 3 wins in 4 starts since trainer Julia Carey claimed her for $40,000 in September. She led throughout the five-furlong prep to prevail by 1 1/2 lengths, an effort that wasn't a surprise to Carey.

"I thought five furlongs would be right up her alley," Carey said. "This will be a real test for her, running in such a big field."

Colonial Surprise, who will be making her seasonal bow for owner/trainer Nick DeToro, has a history of running strongly following a layoff. She won the six-furlong Ontario Fashion Handicap in November.