09/12/2004 11:00PM

'Burst' thriving on turf


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Breeders' Stakes runner-up Burst of Fire heads a six-horse field in Wednesday's Woodbine headliner, a $100,000 optional claimer that is scheduled for about 1 1/2 miles on the grass.

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 the Fair Grounds in March. He reappeared in a difficult allowance at Keeneland in April, and finished a distant third behind Minister Eric and Go Now.

In his local debut in early May, Burst of Fire won a $25,000 optional claimer going a 1 1/16 miles over a sloppy track. He was removed from consideration for the Plate after finishing a well-beaten fourth in the Grade 3 Marine and in the Victoria Park Stakes.

Burst of Fire tried the grass for the first time in the one-mile Charlie Barley Stakes June 27, and ran to his fine turf breeding, ending up second to the talented Dalavin. He subsequently finished third in the nine-furlong Toronto Cup, another open turf stakes.

Two races back, in the 1 1/2-mile Breeders' on turf, Burst of Fire set a moderate pace before being overtaken in midstretch by A Bit O'Gold. He was beaten 1 3/4 lengths.

Most recently, Burst of Fire led throughout a second-level allowance at 1 1/2 miles on the grass, earning a career-high 91 Beyer Figure.

"He's really improved on the turf," said Frostad, who named Slade Callaghan for the mount Wednesday.

Get Down Wolfie could be the main threat, even though he would probably prefer a middle distance.

Owned and trained by Gina Powell, Get Down Wolfie captured the 2002 Puss N Boots Stakes at Fort Erie. He was winless in 2003, but has run four solid races in four starts this year, all on the grass at Ellis Park.

Get Down Wolfie won a one-mile handicap in his third start off the sidelines on Aug. 14. Last time out, in the Tri State Handicap, he pressed the pace before fading in the final furlong and was beaten three lengths.

Fisher Pond is returning from a six-month layoff in his first attempt for trainer David Bell. A long-distance specialist, Fisher Pond has a poor turf record, but would benefit if this race comes off the grass.

Fisher Pond was fifth in a third-level allowance on March 7 at Aqueduct, a race that produced three next-out winners.