06/13/2007 11:00PM

Cobrador needs more pace in Queen's Plate


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Cobrador and It's a Danzig shipped in together from Arlington for the June 3 Plate Trial at Woodbine and returned to their home base the following morning.

But Cobrador, who finished fourth in the 1 1/8-mile Plate Trial, will be traveling solo when he returns for the $1 million Queen's Plate, a 1 1/4-mile race for Canadian-bred 3-year-olds here June 24.

It's a Danzig, who was a well-beaten seventh in the Trial, will stay home for now and concentrate on turf racing.

Cobrador, owned by Graph Racing and trained by Richie Scherer, was beaten 6 3/4 lengths in an even effort in the Plate Trial .

"I thought he ran well," said Scherer, from Arlington on Thursday morning. "There was not much pace in there for him to run at. Hopefully, he gets a little better pace scenario this time, and I don't think the mile and a quarter is going to hurt him.

"If I get a piece of it, great, and you never know, something else might happen."

Emile Ramsammy, who rode Cobrador for the first time in the Plate Trial, will be back in the irons.

"Ramsammy had a little insightful information about him," Scherer said. "I'm glad that he got to ride the horse. He knows him a little bit now."

It's a Danzig, owned by Stan Fulton and trained by Rebecca Maker, made his fifth start in the Plate Trial and finished worse than second for the first time.

"I had no excuse for the horse," said Maker, from Arlington on Thursday morning. "All I could really chalk it up to was he just really didn't handle the Polytrack up there. It's a little bit different.

"We're going to run him back here on the turf. You may even see him up there for an allowance race on the turf. It just depends on the timing."

Maker's major long-term target for It's a Danzig is the $500,000 Breeders', a 1 1/2-mile turf race at Woodbine on Aug. 5. It's the final leg of the Canadian Triple Crown.

Jiggs Coz follows winning work pattern

Jiggs Coz, an easy winner of the Plate Trial and the horse to beat in the Queen's Plate, worked six furlongs in 1:13.80 on Thursday under regular rider David Clark.

"I told Dave 'Don't kill him,' just like always," said Sid Attard, who trains Jiggs Coz for owner and breeder Mel Lawson. "He went very well."

Jiggs Coz had worked six furlongs for the Plate Trial, also 10 days before the race, and came back with a leisurely four-furlong breeze four days out.

"I might give him a little breeze, three or four days before" the Queen's Plate, said Attard. "We'll see."

As of Thursday morning, a field of nine was expected for the Queen's Plate.

Marchfield, Alezzandro, and Include Us - who finished second, third, and fifth, respectively, in the Plate Trial - all are scheduled to return.

Mike Fox, who defeated older allowance rivals at 1 1/16 miles here May 23, and Leonnatus Anteas, second when making his season debut against older foes at seven furlongs on Plate Trial Day, round out the likely local contingent.

Twilight Meteor, based at Belmont with trainer Todd Pletcher, and Daaher, currently at Saratoga and trained by Kiaran McLaughlin, are expected to ship in.

Daaher would have to be supplemented on entry day at a cost of $25,000, including the regular $10,000 entry fee.

Like a Gem makes season debut in Hill 'n' Dale

Like a Gem will make her first start in more than eight months in Saturday's $100,000 Hill 'n' Dale, a 1 1/16-mile stakes for fillies and mares.

"We wanted to give her a long break," said trainer Danny Vella, who put away Like a Gem after her sixth-place finish in the Carotene here last Oct. 7. "She had run enough, and she had a good enough year."

Like a Gem started nine times for owner and breeder Garland Williamson as a 3-year-old, earning $245,438, with her victory in the Wonder Where at 1 1/4 miles on yielding turf being the pinnacle of her campaign.

Following a long stay on Williamson's farm, where former Woodbine-based trainer Jim Cheadle runs things, Like a Gem returned to Woodbine in March without the benefit of any winter training.

"We took our time once she got here," said Vella. "She's made steady progress. We didn't want to get into a rush with her. She's too nice a filly.

"She's run well going short or long, on turf or dirt. I think she prefers turf a little bit."

One surface that Like a Gem has yet to win on is Polytrack, which she will be trying for the first time in the Hill 'n' Dale.

Vella, however, is far from concerned about that.

"She trains absolutely spectacular on Polytrack," he said. "You couldn't ask her to train any better."

Bold Ruckus keeps Husbands and Casse rolling

Jockey Patrick Husbands and trainer Mark Casse combined to win their fourth consecutive Woodbine stakes on Wednesday night with Legal Move in the $126,600 Bold Ruckus, a six-furlong turf dash for Ontario-sired 3-year-olds.

Legal Move, the 9-5 favorite in the nine-horse field, stalked the pace on the outside through the turn and then wore down Catsimile in deep stretch to score by three-quarters of a length.

Catsimile held second by a head over Fudgethebottomline. The first eight runners all finished within 1 1/2 lengths of the winner.

Casse and Husbands swept all three stakes here last Sunday, topped by the $502,000 Woodbine Oaks with Sealy Hill. Legal Move was returning from a six-month break in the Bold Ruckus.

"It's been one of those times when everything's come together," said Casse. "The horses are doing quite well."

Legal Move covered the distance in 1:08.79 and earned $75,000 for Woodford Racing LLC.

"I like three-quarters on the turf, and I felt comfortable that [Legal Move] was ready for that," Casse said.

- additional reporting by Ron Gierkink