04/13/2010 11:00PM

Black has a pair on path to the Plate


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Trainer Ian Black won the 2007 Queen's Plate with Mike Fox and would have had a serious contender last year had Southdale not been sidelined for the season following his second-place finish in the Plate Trial.

Black is back on the Plate trail this year with Stormy Lord and D's Wando, who finished second and third, respectively, here in November's 1 1/8-mile Coronation Futurity.

"They're both doing well," said Black, who kept a close eye on Stormy Lord and D's Wando while at Payson Park this winter.

"I gave them a little time off. I turned them out when we first went down there and started them up the first of January."

Stormy Lord and D's Wando both recorded a couple of four-furlong works before returning to Woodbine a couple of weeks ago.

Since then, the two have worked on consecutive Mondays with their latest being five-furlong breezes clocked in 1:01.60.

"They both galloped out really strong," said Black, noting that Stormy Lord worked on his own under Jim McAleney, while D's Wando went solo under Emma-Jayne Wilson.

Black also would like to keep the pair apart in the afternoon, and while both are nominated to the six-furlong Woodstock here April 25, neither is scheduled to participate.

"I'd rather not go three-quarters with them," Black said.

The Queenston, a $150,000 race for Ontario-foaled 3-year-olds here May 15, should be the starting point for at least one of Black's Queen's Plate hopefuls.

Southdale working toward return

Southdale, who was beaten a neck by subsequent Queen's Plate winner Eye of the Leopard in the Plate Trial, emerged with pulled muscles that kept him out of training until November.

Also part of Black's Payson Park contingent this winter, Southdale had worked several times there before suffering another setback.

"He had trained very well all winter," Black said. "He was very close, but then he came up with a quarter crack behind."

In his first breeze since returning to Woodbine, Southdale was clocked in a bullet 46.60 for four furlongs.

"That wasn't really what we had in mind," Black said.

On Wednesday morning, Southdale came back to breeze four furlongs in 48.60 and gallop out five furlongs in 1:01 under regular rider Wilson.

"I was very happy," Black said. "He came away from there nice and relaxed."

The Grade 3 Eclipse, a 1 1/16-mile race for 4-year-olds and up here June 5, is Southdale's first major target.

"I like to think he's a two-turn horse," Black said. "We'll get him there the best way we can."

Glitter Rox set for Whimsical

Black will be sending out Glitter Rox for her first appearance of the season in Sunday's $150,000 Whimsical, a six-furlong race for older fillies and mares.

Glitter Rox, a 6-year-old, wintered locally at Kinghaven Farm and breezed five furlongs in 1:00.40 under her regular rider Gerry Olguin here Monday.

"She tends to go off a little quick in her works, but it was okay," Black said.

Glitter Rox has run well first crack out in her last two campaigns, capturing last year's Belle Geste over seven furlongs of turf on Aug. 9 and finishing a close second under second-level allowance terms over 6 1/2 furlongs of Polytrack in her 2008 opener.

Rahy's Attorney eyes Connaught Cup

Rahy's Attorney, who raced twice at Gulfstream Park for Black this winter, is preparing for a third straight run at the Grade 3, $150,000 Connaught Cup here May 30.

Rahy's Atttorney's latest appearance was a second-place finish in which he was beaten a head by fellow Woodbine campaigner Society's Chairman in the Grade 3 Appleton over 7 1/2 furlongs of turf on March 20.

The Connaught Cup formerly was a 1 1/16-mile turf race, and Rahy's Attorney finished a close second in the 2009 renewal after winning in 2008.

This year, the Connaught Cup was cut back to seven furlongs.

"Hopefully, he's quick enough here to be competitive going seven furlongs," Black said.

Rahy's Attorney also won the King Edward over 1 1/8 miles and the Nijinsky over 1 3/8 miles here on the turf last year and should benefit from this year's changes in distance for those stakes.

The King Edward now goes at one mile on June 27, and the Nijinsky will be run at 1 1/8 miles on July 24.

O'Callaghan handling Jordan horses

Hollywood Hit, disqualified from his win in last year's King Corrie after testing positive for the Class 3 drug acepromazine, made all the running here last Sunday to capture the $160,200 Jacques Cartier at six furlongs.

Trainer Danny O'Callaghan, deputizing for suspended trainer Terry Jordan, saddled Hollywood Hit for his half-length score under regular rider Jim McAleney.

O'Callaghan could have several more stakes entrants for Jordan clients before that trainer returns May 2.

Tribal Belle and Dancing Allstar both are scheduled to go in Sunday's Whimsical. Comedero, purchased privately last fall by Hollywood Hit's owner Peter Redekop, and Sports Select both are nominated to the Woodstock.

Biofuel looks sharp in Star Shoot

Biofuel returned to action with a smashing score in last Saturday's $157,000 Star Shoot, a six-furlong race in which she served notice that she will be one to reckon with down the line.

"Typically, she didn't lie this close to the pace last year," said Biofuel's trainer, Reade Baker.

"But off her last work at Palm Meadows and her work here on Poly, I shouldn't have been surprised."

Biofuel now will aim for the $150,000 La Lorgnette, a 1 1/16-mile race for 3-year-old fillies here May 23.

After that, the pickings here will be slim for the Kentucky-bred Biofuel.

"If everything goes well, we'll look to the south," Baker said.

* Bill Finley, author of "Betting Synthetic Surfaces," will be on hand Saturday to host a free seminar beginning 11 a.m. on the third floor of the grandstand. Attendees will receive a free copy of Finley's book.