07/01/2006 12:00AM

'Cinquieme' comes off gutsy second

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ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Le Cinquieme Essai will try to stretch his speed to 1 1/8 miles on the grass Monday at Woodbine in the $300,000 King Edward Breeders' Cup Stakes.

Le Cinquieme Essai, Canada's champion 3-year-old in 2002, had a productive four-race campaign last year, capped by a third-place finish in the Grade 1 Atto Mile.

Trainer Paul Nielsen said he gave Le Cinquieme Essai some time off after the Sept. 18 Atto because of a high suspensory problem.

Le Cinquieme Essai returned to action May 29 in the Connaught Cup Stakes, in which he was beaten a nose by Remarkable News after dueling on the lead with that one throughout the race's 1 1/16 miles.

"That was one of the best races I've seen him run," Nielsen said. "I thought he was going to be third, but he showed that second effort inside the sixteenth pole to come back on again. He really dug in, and just got beat.

"He's trained in great fashion since then," Nielsen added. "He's in terrific shape. I feel confident in running him."

Le Cinquieme Essai has a second-place finish from two career starts at nine furlongs.

"I'm not that concerned with the distance," said Nielsen. "He's in such good order, and if he can relax a little bit, I don't think it will be a problem. I love him on a bit of a soft turf. Hopefully, we'll have a bit of cut in the ground."

Diamond Green, based at Belmont with trainer Bobby Frankel, was a troubled eighth in the 2004 Breeders' Cup Mile at Lone Star. Most recently in the Grade 1 Shoemaker BC Mile, on May 29 at Hollywood, he wound up fifth, four lengths back of victorious Aragorn.

Trainer Graham Motion entered T.D. Vance in both the Grade 2 King Edward and the Grade 3 Poker Handicap at Belmont on Sunday. He said Friday that he was leaning toward the King Edward.

T.D. Vance, who captured the nine-furlong Toronto Cup Handicap here last summer, is coming off a victory in the Eight Thirty Stakes at Delaware.

Tiganello, a German-bred trained by Todd Pletcher, was a closing second in the slow-paced Eight Thirty in his second start on this continent.

Jader is making his North American debut for trainer Roger Attfield. A multiple winner in Italy, Jader had a mediocre three-race stint in Dubai last winter.

Sky Conqueror, a fast-closing third in the Grade 3 Connaught, was supplemented to the King Edward at a cost of $6,000.