09/09/2007 11:00PM

Becrux cranks up for Mile


ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Becrux, winner of last year's Woodbine Mile, tuned up for Sunday's renewal of the Grade 1, $1 million turf race with a six-furlong breeze in 1:14.80 here Monday morning.

The Woodbine Mile, for 3-year-olds and upward, will be run on Sunday. A field of about 12 is expected, with several candidates still weighing their options.

Locally based exercise rider John McInerney, who galloped and worked Becrux for trainer Neil Drysdale here last year, was aboard for Monday's drill over a firm main turf course that had the dogs well out.

"I think he went better this year than he did last year," said McInerney. "I really think he knows he's back here."

McInerney got the thumbs up from Drysdale when he called the trainer, who is at the Keeneland sales, to inform him about the workout.

"Perfect," said McInerney, was Drysdale's response.

David Flores, who rode Becrux to a second-place finish in the Grade 2 Del Mar Mile last time out, retains the mount.

Sky Conqueror and Arravale, who also worked over the turf course here Monday morning, are among the fence-sitters for the Woodbine Mile.

Jockey Chantal Sutherland was aboard Sky Conqueror, who worked four furlongs in 49.20 seconds and would be cutting back in distance off a third-place finish here in the 1 1/2-mile Northern Dancer.

"He worked very well," said trainer Darwin Banach, adding that Sky Conqueror was about a 60-40 proposition to start in the Woodbine Mile.

"We'll see how he's coming to the race, and try to get a little better read on it," Banach said.

Arravale, trained by Mac Benson, breezed five furlongs in 1:03.20 under rider Gerry Baird and will run either in the Woodbine Mile or Sunday's Grade 2, $300,000 Canadian, a 1 1/8-mile turf race for fillies and mares.

"If it should rain a lot and the turf came up soft at the last minute, a lot of people might not come in for the Mile," said Benson. "We'd get a break in the weights if we were to go there, too.

"Right now, I'd say we're going to the filly race, but it's nice to have an option."

The Queen's Stamp, also trained by Banach, worked seven furlongs on the turf in 1:30.40 and is slated to start in the Canadian.

Remarkable News tunes up at Belmont

Remarkable News had his last major tune-up for the Woodbine Mile at Belmont on Monday, working four furlongs in 48.42 with the dogs up on a firm inner turf course.

Winner of the Grade 2 Firecracker at one mile on turf at Churchill Downs in his last start on June 30, Remarkable News finished fifth in the Woodbine Mile last year.

Dead Red, the latest shipper to join the Woodbine Mile list, breezed four furlongs in 50.60 at Calder on Monday morning.

Winner of the five-furlong Turf Sprint Championship in his last start at Calder on Aug.o11, Dead Red is trained by George Mikhalides.