07/05/2004 11:00PM

Choreography tries to move into top spot

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ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Choreography, a nominee to Sunday's Bold Venture Handicap, has opted instead for Thursday's Woodbine headliner, an $80,000 allowance/optional claimer for 3-year-olds and up.

Choreography, a 4-year-old trained by Canadian Hall of Famer Jerry Meyer, has had a productive 2004 campaign, which began at Aqueduct in February following a layoff. He won an entry-level allowance there in March and returned here after finishing fifth in a second-level allowance April 9.

Choreography was a close seventh in a sloppy allowance on opening day, after which he was narrowly beaten in a May 1 allowance. He suffered another tight loss two weeks later, finishing a neck behind multiple stakes winner Barbeau Ruckus in the restricted New Providence Stakes.

Choreography ended up a length back of The King N Rob in a subsequent second-level allowance, earning his third straight Beyer Figure in the high 90's. He recorded his fourth consecutive runner-up placing most recently, finishing 1 3/4 lengths behind a closing Forever Grand at this level. Ray Sabourin retains the mount on Choreography, who is owned by Captiva Stable.

Also entered in the six-furlong feature are Dancin Joey, Fantastic Day, High Blitz, Dillinger, and Gamblin Caper.

Dancin Joey looked like he had a bright future in the spring of 2003, after receiving a whopping 104 Beyer for landing a second-level allowance. Nevertheless, he was sidelined for nine months heading into his lone outing this year, a fifth-place finish in a $75,000 optional claimer at Gulfstream on Feb. 14.

Dancin Joey has been working regularly over the main track for trainer Tony Mattine, who has been winning at a 12 percent rate with similar comebackers while posting a positive return on investment. Leading rider Todd Kabel has the call.

Fantastic Day won five of 11 starts in 2003 for leading trainer Bob Tiller, who has run the 4-year-old gelding just twice this year.

When he came off the sidelines, Fantastic Day was a fading fourth in the six-furlong Jacques Cartier Stakes. He was seventh most recently in his first turf attempt, the allowance prep for the Highlander Handicap. That allowance has produced next-out stakes winners Soaring Free and Norfolk Knight.

High Blitz, a Stronach Stable runner trained by Justin Nixon, was recently third behind Forever Grand and Choreography under similar circumstances. He was previously victorious in a $50,000 optional claimer at Fort Erie, where he worked five-eighths in a bullet 1:00 last Thursday.

Dillinger is donning blinkers following a freshening while B.C. import Gamblin Caper is returning from one-year absence.