11/10/2004 12:00AM

Clouds of Gold primed for breakout


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Clouds of Gold, who seems to have taken her game to a new high recently, will be looking for her first stakes victory in Saturday's Grade 3 Maple Leaf at Woodbine.

The prospective field for the $175,000 Maple Leaf, a 1 1/4-mile race for fillies and mares, is headed by Raylene and One for Rose, the one-two finishers in the 1 1/8-mile allowance prep here Oct. 24.

Clouds of Gold, owned by The Valiant Stable and her trainer, Ken Parsley, was third that day, beaten by 1 3/4 lengths.

"She ran a winning race last time, considering her wide trip," said Parsley.

"I thought One for Rose might be vulnerable, coming off a tough race and running back rather quickly," he said. "It remains to be seen if that will be the case this time. One for Rose is a tough filly, and Raylene is no slouch either."

Canada's reigning champion older filly or mare, One for Rose had come into the Maple Leaf prep off a fourth-place finish behind Azeri in Keeneland's Grade 1 Spinster on Oct. 10.

Clouds of Gold also had been in the United States for her start before the prep, finishing second in the 1 1/16-mile Autumn Leaves at Mountaineer Race Track on Sept. 28.

"That race came up a little tougher than we thought it would," said Parsley. "But we were happy. She made a big move, and ran second to a nice filly."

Indy Groove, the Autumn Leaves winner, was coming off a third-place finish in a competitive running of the Grade 3 Arlington Matron and went on to finish sixth of 11 in the Breeders' Cup Distaff.

Touchnow headed to Laurel

Reade Baker, who trains Raylene, also had nominated Touchnow to the Maple Leaf, but that filly is bound for Laurel and the Grade 3, $100,000 Anne Arundel on Nov. 20.

"There's no 3-year-old race for her here," said Baker, "and it would certainly have to be easier than One for Rose and Raylene."

Touchnow competed in all three legs of the Triple Tiara for Canadian-bred 3-year-old fillies, winning Fort Erie's Bison City after finishing second in the Woodbine Oaks.

Regal n' Bold, a 4-year-old who finished seventh in last Saturday's Ontario Fashion, is slated to accompany Touchnow on her trip to Maryland. Her target is the $50,000 Stefanita, a six-furlong race for fillies and mares on the Nov. 20 card.

"I don't know why she didn't run her race the other day," said Baker. "Obviously I was disappointed, because she ran so ordinary and came back so good. She came out of there jumping and bucking like a wild horse."

Both Touchnow and Regal n' Bold are owned by George Farr.

Appleby Gardens back to dirt

Trainer David Bell and owners Eugene and Laura Melnyk will be represented on two stakes fronts Saturday, with Appleby Gardens going here in the Maple Leaf and Black Rock Road at Churchill Downs for the Grade 2, $150,000 Mrs. Revere.

Appleby Gardens, a 4-year-old, was making her first start in 13 months when she debuted for Bell here Aug. 6, finishing third competing under second-level allowance terms at 1 1/16 miles.

After missing the break and finishing sixth against tougher allowance company in her next start, Appleby Gardens tried turf for the first time in the 1 1/8-mile Belle Geste and ended last of seven.

"We thought she might do all right on turf, but she didn't seem to like it much," said assistant trainer Danny O' Hara, who believes the return to the main track at an extended distance will benefit Appleby Gardens.

"She's training really well, and I think she'll run all day," said O'Hara.

Black Rock Road is undefeated in three starts, including the Carotene, a 1 1/8-mile turf race here Oct. 9.

The Mrs. Revere is a 1 1/16-mile turf race for 3-year-old fillies.

French Lieutenant going for a stakes

French Lieutenant, who worked five furlongs in 1:00.80 on the main track here Wednesday, is slated to make his next start at Churchill Downs in the Grade 3, $150,000 River City Handicap on Nov. 21.

A 4-year-old colt owned by Glenwood Farm and trained by Catherine Day Phillips, French Lieutenant will seek his first stakes win in the River City, a 1 1/8-mile turf race.

Wholelottabourbon done for year

Wholelottabourbon, winner of three consecutive stakes for his owners, M.A.D. Racing Stable and Martha Gonzalez, has been put away for the season.

A Kentucky-bred but Ontario-sired gelding, Wholelottabourbon had been entered in the seven-furlong Frost King here Oct. 27 but was a late scratch.

"He had a low-grade temperature the day before the race," said Martha Gonzalez, wife of and assistant to Nick Gonzalez, who trains Wholelottaabourbon. "The next day he was bucking and squealing, but I didn't want to take the chance."

A $5,500 yearling purchase, Wholelottabourbon has won 4 of 5 starts and finished second once, banking $286,230.

Wholelottabourbon is scheduled to winter on the farm in the Fort Erie area and be back at Woodbine on March 1 to prepare for the Woodstock Stakes early in the meeting.

Lucky Fern rates a shot

Lucky Fern, a well-beaten third when she returned from a layoff for her last start, could be a mild upsetter here in Friday's allowance feature.

Eight fillies and mares will contest the six-furlong race, a first-level allowance that offers a purse of $59,800.

Lucky Fern, a 3-year-old owned by Gary Wellwood and Larry Titchner and trained by John Ross, had been away for well over five months when she returned to finish 9 3/4 lengths back in a seven-furlong allowance race for Ontario-sired fillies and mares here on Oct. 20.

Financingavailable, the 6 3/4-length winner of that race, is one of the leading candidates for Sunday's Jammed Lovely Stakes.