07/03/2002 12:00AM

Cheap Talk can deliver the goods in sprint


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Cheap Talk, one of several talented 3-year-olds trained by Bob Tiller, will be a formidable opponent in Friday's eighth race at Woodbine, a $62,500 allowance/ optional claimer for 3-year-olds.

Cheap Talk, a New York-bred gelding, was a fast-closing second to the front-running Sir Fleet when he debuted in a five-furlong maiden dash on April 7. He graduated by three lengths as the favorite two weeks later, in a six-furlong maiden special weight affair.

Cheap Talk earned a whopping Beyer Speed Figure of 96 when he ran second to his stablemate Forever Grand in a seven-furlong allowance on May 5. Forever Grand went on to finish second in the Victoria Park Stakes and third in the Queen's Plate.

Most recently in a 6 1/2-furlong allowance, Cheap Talk away by six lengths after seizing command midway on the turn. His time of 1:16.40 was good for a Beyer Figure of 93.

David Clark retains the mount on Cheap Talk, who was scratched from a June 23 race at this level.

Completing the field for the 6 1/2-furlong feature will be My Hearts Desire, Mulligan the Great, Valued Forum, Lakefield, Embattle, Nicholle's Devil and Recite.

Mulligan the Great will make his first start for a hot trainer, Cliff Hopmans, on Friday.

A son of Great Gladiator, Mulligan the Great won his debut at 6 1/2 furlongs over a sloppy track by 13 1/4 lengths, earning a 92 Beyer.

Three weeks later on May 18, trainer John Cirillo sent him out for another front-running victory, in a 1 1/16-mile allowance.

After finishing a well-beaten fifth in the June 8 Victoria Park, Mulligan the Great was turned over to Hopmans, who won races with Hollywood Ending and longshot Really Keen last weekend.

Mulligan the Great breezed five-eighths in a bullet 59.20 seconds over the main track last Friday.

Lakefield has a history of bouncing after winning his first start of the year, which he did two starts ago in an optional claimer won by Forever Grand. Last time out, in his first start on turf in the Charlie Barley Handicap, Lakefield set the pace until the quarter pole before fading to finish seventh.

Apprentice Chantal Sutherland, Woodbine's hottest rider, inherits the mount on Lakefield.

Embattle ran second in his second appearance of the year, in the Queenston Stakes, but subsequently threw craps in the Plate Trial Stakes. He rallied belatedly from eight lengths off a rapid pace to finish fourth most recently in the Afleet Stakes.

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