10/14/2008 11:00PM

Clock's ticking for Woodbine turf runners


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Turf racing is winding down at the marathon Woodbine meeting, and $40,000 conditioned claimers will get a rare opportunity to strut their stuff on the grass in Friday's sixth race.

It's a Danzig and I Am Awesome are the two obvious protagonists in the 1 1/16-mile route.

It's a Danzig, a $500,000 yearling purchase by Danzig, is winless since he graduated on the grass in the spring of 2007 at Churchill Downs. He wound up seventh in his next start in the Plate Trial Stakes, and didn't race here again until last May, when he was unplaced in two allowance races on the Polytrack.

It's a Danzig finished second to a sharp Andalusian in an open $40,000 claimer on the grass following a layoff here Sept. 3. Last time out, in a one-mile allowance on Sept. 28, he faded to fourth after an inside stalking trip.

Emile Ramsammy retains the mount on It's a Danzig, who is trained by Steve Asmussen.

I Am Awesome's lone victory came against $40,000 maidens on the Polytrack Aug. 4. He subsequently finished a flat fourth in a nonwinners-of-two claimer on the grass, and was awarded a career-high 83 Beyer Speed Figure most recently after outrunning It's a Danzig for third in a Sept. 28 allowance.

Patrick Husbands will ride I Am Awesome for the hot trainer Malcolm Pierce, who is taking the blinkers off the son of Awesome Again.

Vespasian, coupled with It's a Danzig in the Frontier Stable entry, has run hot and cold this year. His maiden win came on dirt in January at Fair Grounds, and he was beaten by just a neck in a $40,000 claimer for nonwinners of three in his penultimate outing on the Poly.

Golden Glade defeated maiden special weight opposition at a mile on the grass in May. He has been in a slump since mid-summer, but the cooler fall weather and some class relief might help him get back on the right track.

Tiger Bud is making his first start for trainer Roger Attfield. He spent the summer at Monmouth Park, where he graduated over $40,000 maidens and was competitive against $40,000 claimers.

Bullonthewire hasn't shown much since his maiden triumph on the Polytrack July 30, but is being reunited with the rider who was aboard that day, Tyler Pizarro.

Prairie Honour adds blinkers after his fourth straight loss by double-digit margins and should be prominent in the early stages.