03/03/2008 12:00AM

Canadian jumps into deep field


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - For a first-level allowance race at one mile on the turf, Wednesday's $41,500 main event has brought some major players to the table, including Queen's Plate hopeful Deputiformer, the undefeated pair of Big Brown and Il Girasole, and the stakes-placed Moral Compass.

Deputiformer, a Canadian-bred son of Silver Deputy, won his maiden in the Cup and Saucer Stakes on the turf last fall at Woodbine. He then closed out his juvenile campaign finishing third over the artificial track in the nine-furlong Coronation Futurity.

"We're really excited about him," trainer Michael DePaulo said. "And I think right now he's probably in the top five for the Queen's Plate. The Coronation was the craziest race I've ever seen in my life. They went the first six furlongs in 1:16 and change. We made a run at the leader turning for home, but naturally he had gone so slow he just drew right off, and that probably cost us second money since we were beaten just a head by Cool Gator for second."

DePaulo said entering Deputiformer in Wednesday's race was pretty much a last-minute decision.

"I hadn't been planning to run him, but the race showed up and he's fit enough," DePaulo said. "And if there's enough pace in there, he will come running from out of it."

There is plenty of pace in the race, with Big Brown among the speedsters in the field along with Hedgefund Investor, Sailor's Cap, and Heaven's Awesome.

Big Brown ran off the screen in his only start, beating maiden-special-weight opposition by 11 1/4 lengths when launching his career on the turf for trainer Pat Reynolds at Saratoga on Sept. 3. The effort earned him a 90 Beyer Speed Figure, which was subsequently flattered when three of his victims returned to win maiden special weight races in their next starts. A son of Boundary, Big Brown was ultimately purchased privately by the Pegasus Holdings Group Stables and turned over to trainer Richard Dutrow Jr., for whom Big Brown has trained forwardly for his 3-year-old debut.

An honest pace would play into the hands of Moral Compass, a son of Grand Slam, who was beaten a neck under similar allowance conditions here Feb. 1. Moral Compass finished third in Belmont's King Cugat Stakes at 2 and sixth behind local division leaders Cowboy Cal and Why Tonto in the Grade 3 Tropical Park Derby.

Trainer Todd Pletcher will send out the unbeaten Il Girasole, who outgamed the well-regarded Adriano in his only start last summer at Saratoga.