08/24/2004 12:00AM

Burst of Fire takes on older horses


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Breeders' Stakes runner-up Burst of Fire will meet older opponents at 1 1/2 miles on the grass in Thursday's second race at Woodbine, a second-level allowance worth $70,000.

Burst of Fire, trained by Mark Frostad for Sam-Son Farm, was aimed toward the Queen's Plate after winning his maiden in his first start, going a mile and 40 yards at Fair Grounds in March. He reappeared in a tough allowance at Keeneland in April, and was a well-beaten third behind Minister Eric and Go Now.

In his Woodbine debut, Burst of Fire won a $25,000 optional claimer over a sloppy track in early May. He was removed from consideration for the Plate after finishing a distant fourth in both the Grade 3 Marine and Victoria Park stakes.

Burst of Fire tried the grass for the first time June 27, in the one-mile Charlie Barley Stakes, and ran to his superb turf pedigree, ending up second to the very talented Dalavin. Burst of Fire subsequently finished third in the 1 1/8-mile Toronto Cup, another open turf stakes.

Last time, in the 1 1/2-mile Breeders', Burst of Fire set a moderate pace before being overtaken in midstretch by A Bit O'Gold. He gave way gradually, and was beaten just 1 3/4 lengths.

"He's really improved on the turf," Frostad said.

Slade Callaghan, who rode Burst of Fire in his last two starts, has the mount Thursday.

Jambalar and Cavans Lane are the only two runners in the seven-horse field to have won at 1 1/2 miles on the turf.

Jambalar came from far back to finish third in a 1 1/4-mile allowance on the grass June 19. He went on to defeat a solid group in an allowance at about 1 1/2 miles, and was recently fourth in a sloppy event taken off the grass.

Cavans Lane has run inconsistently since losing his May 7 debut at Calder by a nose. He graduated in a maiden special weight race at about 1 1/2 miles on July 24, before finishing far back in 10th in the Breeders'.

King of Siam could be competitive off a win over $40,000 opposition in his first attempt since being claimed by trainer Abraham Katryan. He has run well over long distances.

Last Answer made a three-wide bid before hanging in deep stretch when he was second going 1 3/8 miles the last time he tried the grass. Trainer Mike Keogh takes the blinkers off him Thursday.