07/31/2003 11:00PM

Champ sprinter goes long again


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Wake at Noon, Canada's reigning Horse of the Year and champion sprinter, will try to win his second straight route race Sunday at Woodbine in the $136,500 Seagram Cup Stakes.

A seven-horse field entered the 1 1/16-mile race, the eighth race on a 10-race card. The Grade 1 Haskell Invitational from Monmouth Park will be simulcast.

Wake at Noon, a 6-year-old with over $1.4 million in the bank, has run hot and cold this year. He won the Grade 3 Vigil Handicap with authority in April, but was a bust in the Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap at Belmont in May.

After Wake at Noon ran fourth as the favorite in a June 22 allowance sprint, trainer Abraham Katryan ran him 1 1/16 miles in the July 20 Izvestia Stakes. Wake at Noon set moderate fractions in that restricted race and prevailed, earning a Beyer Figure of 101, the same number he earned in the Vigil.

Katryan said he was on the fence about running Wake at Noon in the Seagram until entry day.

"I wasn't planning on running him," Katryan said, "but he impressed me quite a bit when I watched him train [Thursday] morning. I two-minute licked him, and he just wanted to go. A lot of times when you stretch a sprinter out, they come back a bit dull and they back off on their feed, but he wasn't like that. His last race didn't take anything out of him."

Katryan predicts that Wake at Noon will go faster on the front end in the Seagram, while attempting to take no prisoners.

"I think my horse will show a little more speed," Katryan said. "It looked like he set slow fractions last time, but I knew the track was slow - they sealed it just after his race and he ran on a deep track."

Rounding out the Seagram lineup are Indy Lead, Vany's Forum, Florida Recount, Mark One, Anglian Prince, and Dream Launcher.

Dream Launcher could press Wake at Noon on the lead. He won an allowance prep for the Seagram and hasn't missed the board in five starts at 1 1/16 miles.

Anglian Prince is also at his best at the Seagram distance. He was a stalking second in the Izvestia, which came on the heels of an easy victory over Parose in an $80,000 optional claimer.

Florida Recount would be dangerous on a duplication of his June 18 score in a $100,000 optional claimer.