09/03/2009 11:00PM

Costalivin gives turf a try

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ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Trainer John Ross has already won five stakes at the Woodbine meet, and he will be looking to add to that total Sunday when he saddles Costalivin in the $125,000 Vice Regent Stakes.

Costalivin will make his first start on turf in the one-mile race for Ontario-sired 3-year-olds. He was under consideration for the $1 million Queen's Plate in June, but Ross decided to bypass that prestigious event after the colt faded to seventh as the pacemaker in the Plate Trial Stakes. Costalivin cut back to seven furlongs for his last start on July 15, the Deputy Minister Stakes, and he overcame a troubled trip to prevail by a head under Jim McAleney.

"He got caught in traffic, and had to squeeze through on the inside," Ross said. "Jimmy rode a hell of a race. Luckily, it opened up for him. He just got up in time."

Ross said he was content with the way Costalivin worked five-eighths in 1:00.20 over the turf training course Aug. 16. It was the fastest of 28 moves at the distance.

"I've been looking forward to seeing him run on turf," said Ross. "His pedigree suggests that he'll like it."

Costalivin is by the Irish stakes winner Tomahawk, and his dam, Sylky Market, captured the Wonder Where Stakes on the grass.

Mr. Foricos Two U contested all three legs of this year's Canadian Triple Crown. He was a close second in the Queen's Plate, a fading fifth in the Prince of Wales Stakes on the dirt at Fort Erie, and fourth in the Breeders' Stakes.

Trainer Catherine Day Phillips said she felt that Mr. Foricos Two U didn't bring his "A" game in the 1 1/2-mile Breeders', which was his first start on grass.

"He was a bit aggressive in the early stages," said Day Phillips. "He tried hard at the end, and didn't really run bad. When Patrick Husbands hopped off him, the first thing he said was 'Don't be afraid to try him back on the turf.' He didn't think the turf was the reason that he didn't have a better race."

Day Phillips said she freshened up Mr. Foricos Two U after the Aug. 2 Breeders', with the Vice Regent in mind.

"We backed off on him a little training-wise, and he had a week off at the farm," she said. "He's doing really well."