09/04/2007 11:00PM

Becrux redux the goal in Mile


ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Becrux arrived at Woodbine late Tuesday evening to begin his preparations for the Grade 1, $1 million Woodbine Mile on Sept. 16. Becrux will be looking to become the first back-to-back winner of the Woodbine Mile.

"I'm pleased with the way the horse is coming up to the race," said Neil Drysdale, who trains the 6-year-old gelding for Team Valor and Gary Barber. "I think he's at least as good as he was last year."

Last year, Becrux shipped into Woodbine for the Play the King, a seven-furlong turf race on Aug. 26, and stayed on for the Woodbine Mile three weeks later.

Becrux finished second in the Play the King behind Le Cinquieme Essai, who missed the Woodbine Mile due to injury but won the Play the King again this summer and is on target for a rematch in the Mile.

Prior to the Play the King last year Becrux won the Wickerr, a restricted one-mile turf race at Del Mar.

Becrux won the Wickerr again this year but then swung back a little over three weeks later in the Grade 2 Del Mar Mile and finished second, beaten three-quarters of a length by the up-and-coming Crossing the Line.

"His last race was one of his best," said Drysdale. "He was giving away seven pounds to a superior horse. I don't think there are many horses that could have given seven pounds to that horse."

David Flores, who has ridden Becrux in his last four starts, has the call for the Woodbine Mile.

Roving Angel in top form

Roving Angel came up with her best race of the season when running second to Arden Belle in the 1 1/16-mile Belle Mahone here Aug. 19. On Saturday, Roving Angel will be looking to build on that performance when she cuts back to seven furlongs for the Grade 3, $150,000 Seaway.

"The distance might be better for us," said Bobby Pion, who trains Roving Angel for Keith and Rachel McClelland.

Roving Angel, a Kentucky-bred 5-year-old, earned a career-high Beyer Speed Figure of 94 when she finished in a dead heat for second behind Financingavailable in the seven-furlong Bessarabian here Nov. 26. Financingavailable, who went on to be named Canada's champion older filly or mare, looms the choice of six fillies and mares in the Seaway.

"Maybe it will be a repeat of the Bessarabian last year but, hopefully, the other way around," Pion said.

Meanwhile, Roving Angel tuned up for the Seaway here on Sunday, working five furlongs in 1:02.60 under jockey Justin Stein, who regains the mount for the Seaway.

Stein guided Roving Angel to victory in last fall's 1 1/16-mile Belle Mahone and was aboard for the Bessarabian.

Lyrically taking a swing

The Seaway also attracted a surprise entrant in Lyrically, an Ontario-bred 3-year-old filly who was supplemented at a cost of $3,000.

Lyrically made her stakes debut against members of her own age group here Aug. 11 in the seven-furlong Duchess and finished third behind the very talented Bear Now.

Speak Wisely, the second-place finisher there, came back to win Saturday's Ontario Colleen over one mile of turf.

Ian Black, who trains Lyrically for Kinghaven Farm, said he tried to run Lyrically in an allowance race last week but it didn't fill.

"With any of these well-bred fillies, when you see a graded stakes and think you can get a piece of it, you should take a swing at it," he said.

Lyrically is a homebred by Thunder Gulch out of Lover's Talk, whose other offspring include stakes winners Torrid Affair, Love Grows, and Wild Whiskey.

Tests for Edenwold

Edenwold, who finished fifth and was vanned off following last Monday's Elgin Stakes, will undergo a thorough physical examination.

"At this point, we're going to send him for a nuclear scan," said Josie Carroll, who trains Edenwold for Jim and Alice Sapara.

"He was lame going onto the van, but he walked off okay. There's nothing apparently wrong. We hope he just jammed something but, with such a good horse, we're going to take every precaution."

Edenwold, who won last year's Queen's Plate, was making his first start in almost seven months in the Elgin.

Crist and Morrison in seminar

Daily Racing Form chairman and publisher Steven Crist and Woodbine oddsmaker and DRF contributor Jennifer Morrison will host a one-hour handicapping seminar here Saturday morning.

It begins at 11 a.m. at the east end of the second floor of the grandstand.

Crist will be available following the seminar to sign copies of his book "Exotic Betting."

'Shoot for a Cure' benefit coming

The Woodbine Entertainment Group's jockeys and standardbred drivers are banding together on Tuesday to host a charitable function in the trackside tent beginning at 5:30 p.m. Tickets, at $50 each, are available from the jockeys, drivers, jockey agents, and the Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association.

Proceeds will go to "Shoot for a Cure" spinal cure research and the Avelino Gomez Foundation.

The event will be held in honor of the late Steve Stavro, the Knob Hill Stable owner who was a generous patron of past editions of the fund-raising event.

Sally Stavro, Steve Stavro's wife and partner in the Knob Hill operation, will be presented with the first annual Steve Stavro Memorial Award in recognition of overall contributions to Thoroughbred racing.

The festivities include dinner, entertainment, and silent and live auctions.

Shoot for a Cure is affiliated with the National Hockey League Players' Association. Some of the league's major awards and trophies will be on display, and attendees may pose for photographs with the hardware.