06/11/2001 11:00PM

Blue plate special vs. blue-blood in Plate

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ETOBICOKE, Ontario - The stage is set for an intriguing matchup between the blue-blooded filly Dancethruthedawn and the blue-collar gelding Win City in the $1 million Queen's Plate at Woodbine on June 24.

Dancethruthedawn ran only as hard as she had to to win the 1 1/8-mile Labatt Woodbine Oaks Saturday. After breaking a step slowly, she rallied wide from five lengths back over a speed-conducive track to win by 1 1/2 lengths. Her time of 1:51.74 was good for a 94 Beyer Speed Figure.

Jockey Gary Boulanger said Dancethruthedawn began to loaf in the Oaks when she made the lead at the sixteenth pole. "She perked her ears up and swapped leads when she got to the front," Boulanger said. "It was like she was wondering where everybody went. There was a lot left in the tank."

Sam-Son Farm, which bred and owns Dancethruthedawn, won the 2000 Plate with her full brother, Scatter the Gold. Dancethruthedawn's dam, Dance Smartly, was victorious in the Plate in 1991, the same year she was awarded the Sovereign Award as Canadian horse of the year.

Dancethruthedawn will be coupled in the Plate with another Mark Frostad-trained runner, Lucky Scarab, if both are entered. The powerful entry could be favored over Win City in the Plate.

Win City has won three consecutive stakes, the most recent of which was the 1 1/8-mile Plate Trial on June 2, for which he received a 93 Beyer. His main assets are his long fluid stride, a strong stretch kick, and stamina.

A homebred owned by The Estate of Frank DiGiulio and Frank DiGiulio Jr., Win City is by the underrated Kentucky sire Slew City Slew, who commands only a $5,000 stud fee.

'Bottomline' a Plate possible

Thatsthebottomline jumped into the Plate picture last Friday with a respectable third-place finish against older foes in a $62,500 optional claimer, in which he was beaten just a length by the classy Prory.

Thatsthebottomline beat Lucky Scarab when he won his maiden three starts ago, and won a slowly run allowance in his penultimate outing. Trainer Robert Martin said a foot problem forced him to pass up the Trial with Thatsthebottomline.

"He stepped on a rock and got a bruise on his foot," Martin said. "He missed a week of training, and that's why he missed the Trial. I thought he ran a big race [Friday]."

Won Strike not a Plate possible

Won Strike, who was recently supplemented to the Plate, is no longer being considered for the race, according to trainer Mark Casse. A headstrong Won Strike set the early pace in the Trial before fading to last in the six-horse field.

"We've come to the conclusion that he's probably more of a sprinting type," said Casse, "but I feel like he might like the grass. He might run in the Charlie Barley [Handicap] on Plate Day."

Casse said he also wants to experiment on the grass with Dark Ending, who won the roughly run Selene Stakes with a smooth trip May 21.

Casse trains 12 of the 32

2-year-olds nominated to Saturday's Victoria Stakes, but might only run Expected Hour and/or Jealous Forum.

* Toronto Raptors forward Morris Peterson and Tim Hudak, Ontario's Minister of Tourism, Culture, and Recreation, will be the honorary drawmasters for the Plate draw June 21.

* Stakes winner Swampster returns from an 11-month layoff for trainer Roger Attfield in Thursday's Woodbine headliner, a 6 1/2-furlong dash for $80,000 optional claimers.

QUEEN'S PLATE CONTENDERS

HORSETRAINERODDS

1. Win CityB. Tiller5-2

Won his third consecutive stakes in the Plate Trial and it ooks like he'll run all day.

2. DancethruthedawnM. Frostad3-1

Sister to 2000 Plate winner Scatter the Gold overcame a speed bias to take the Oaks.

3. Millennium AllstarS. Leslie9-2

Showed a new dimension by rallying from way back to finish second in the Trial.

4. Lucky ScarabM. Frostad6-1

Slow-learning closer graduated impressively in the mud and should enjoy 1 1/4 miles.

5. Brushing BullyT. Attard6-1

2000 Display Stakes winner was a solid third in the Trial in just his second start back.

6. Wild YearsJ. Bond10-1

New York-based maiden has hung up some good Beyers, but lacks experience and seasoning.

7. ThatsthebottomlineR. Martin15-1

Missed a week of training before running third against older opponents last week.

8. Dawn WatcherC. Hopmans20-1

Chased a future stakes winner before ending up third in a recent allowance.

9. Highland LegacyS. Owens30-1

Last year's 2-year-old champion has been a disappointment thus far in 2001.

10. Jimmy's PrizeA. Cappuccitti30-1

Maidens have won the Plate before, but this one has his work cut out for him.

- Odds and comments by Ron Gierkink