09/17/2006 12:00AM

Becrux victorious in Woodbine Mile

Michael Burns Photo
Jockey Patrick Valenzuela guides Becrux to victory in the Woodbine Mile on Sunday at Woodbine.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Becrux ($18.70) held off Rebel Rebel in the final strides for a neck victory under jockey Patrick Valenzuela in the 10th running of Grade 1, $1 million on Sunday.

It was the first ride in two months for Valenzuela, who inherited the mount from an injured Corey Nakatani. Valenzuela had Becrux in close proximity to the leaders on the backstretch, as Remarkable News and Sweet Return vied through quick fractions of :22.86 and :45.12 in the one-mile grass event.

Becrux split horses in mid-stretch and hit the front at the eighth pole, then got home in a final time of 1:33.99 seconds. Rebel Rebel rallied from far back and was a length and a quarter clear of third-place finisher Ad Valorem. Favored Three Valleys wound up seventh in the 13-horse field.

"I followed Three Valleys through the stretch," said Valenzuela. "I was going to go to his inside, but then he came out, and I went back to the outside around the eighth pole. I whipped my horse a little, and he took off very willingly."

It was third Woodbine Mile triumph for trainer Neil Drysdale, who said Becrux turned a corner after he was gelded prior to his victory in the July 29 Wickerr Stakes at Del Mar.

"The horse has done very well since (part-owner) Barry Irwin decided to geld him," said Drysdale. "He's continued to improve."

Becurx, a 4-year-old Italian-bred, earned $600,000 for Team Valor Stable LLC and Gary Barber, a partnership which paid $1 million for him when he was a 2-year-old.

* Ready's Gal stole the Grade 2 on the front end, leading throughout the nine-furlong turf test, which was worth $300,400.

Ready's Gal set moderate fractions and prevailed by a half-length over favored Arravale, while completing the distance in 1:46.56. Elle Runaway edged Ambitious Cat for third in the six-horse field of fillies and mares.

"She relaxed nicely, and kicked on pretty good down the lane," said Ramon Dominguez, who rode Ready's Gal for trainer Todd Pletcher.

Ready's Gal ($11.90) banked $180,000 for owner James Scatuorchio.

* Dreaming of Anna, the lone filly in a nine-horse field of 2-year-olds, easily held off 6-5 favorite Marcavelly to capture the Grade 3, $251,600 at a mile on the grass.

With Rene Douglas aboard, Dreaming of Anna battled up front with Seaside Links, before drawing away in the stretch for a three and a quarter-length score. Orna finished eight lengths in arrears in third.

"I think she's the best filly I've ever ridden in my life," said Douglas. "She made the boys look bad today."

Dreaming of Anna ($6.30) ran the distance in 1:35.03, earning $150,000 for owner Frank Calabrese.

Trainer Wayne Catalano said he is aiming Dreaming of Anna towards the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Nov. 4 at Churchill.