06/29/2007 12:00AM

Champions meet again in Dominion


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - True Metropolitan will try to stretch his speed to 1 1/4 miles and hold off a peaking Palladio on Sunday in the $200,000 Dominion Day Stakes at Woodbine.

True Metropolitan had a tremendous 2006 campaign, winning stakes in three different provinces. His accomplishments earned him the Sovereign Award as champion older male, and he also was the runner-up in the voting for Canadian Horse of the Year.

Trainer Terry Jordan said True Metropolitan's failure to relax in some of his races occasionally leads to his downfall, which was the case when he wound up third behind Palladio in the Grade 3 Eclipse Stakes here May 21.

"He was far too sharp in that race," Jordan said. Jockey Quincy Welch "wanted to stalk instead of letting him go. He wrestled with him the first half a mile, and he died under a fight."

True Metropolitan led throughout the nine-furlong allowance prep for the Grade 3 Dominion Day, scoring by 4 1/4 lengths under Todd Kabel.

Jordan said he isn't concerned with the Dominion Day distance.

"He's won going a mile and three-eighths a couple of times," Jordan said. "I don't think he'll be too sharp."

True Metropolitan has been galloping two miles a day under exercise rider Danny Williams, Jordan said. "That's the only way we can keep him quiet," he said. "You've got to train him a lot. I think he'll be one of the fittest horses in the race."

Palladio, Canada's champion 3-year-old in 2005, missed most of 2006 due to a condylar fracture. He was seventh when coming off the sidelines Feb. 22 in a grass allowance at Gulfstream. Palladio closed to finish within two lengths of the winner in each of his next two outings, ending up fourth in the Grade 3 Skip Away at Gulfstream and sixth in the Grade 3 Ben Ali at Keeneland.

Most recently, in the 1 1/16-mile Eclipse here, Palladio made a bold wide bid on the far turn and cruised to a comfortable victory.

"He's very good right now," trainer Roger Attfield said. "We always thought he was a top-class horse, but he missed some time at the end of his 3-year-old year after we took a little chip out of his ankle. Then, he got hurt first time back as a 4-year-old. He's never gotten the chance to show how good a horse he really is."

New York invader Mustanfar defeated Palladio while finishing a close third in his only Polytrack start in the Ben Ali.

Sunday's card also includes the $250,000 Bison City, the second leg of the triple tiara for Canadian-bred 3-year-old fillies.