07/13/2009 12:00AM

Daniel Be Good a real handful for Gonzalez


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - The talented but erratic Daniel Be Good will try to extend his speed out to seven furlongs Wednesday at Woodbine in the $125,000 Deputy Minister Stakes.

Daniel Be Good, trained by Nick Gonzalez, won his first two starts up front going six furlongs in Ontario-sired company. He tried the grass last time in the six-furlong Bold Ruckus Stakes, and was pressed through quick fractions before weakening late to finish third under Chad Beckon.

"Chad couldn't even let him run the last sixteenth," said Gonzalez. "He had to try and keep him from going through the inside rail. He might have been shying from the grandstand, because the turf course is closer to it than the main track."

Gonzalez said Daniel Be Good has always displayed ability, but his inconsistent behavior has kept him from realizing his potential so far.

"He's been a very difficult horse to train, and he's a very difficult horse to ride, too," Gonzalez said. "The first start, he was just green. After that, he was erratic. He lugged in and lugged out."

Daniel Be Good worked five-eighths in 1:00.60 from the gate June 29 under Eurico Da Silva, who inherits the mount from the injured Beckon. "We had to work him from the gate, because he won't break off from the pole." said Gonzalez.

Gonzalez said Daniel Be Good recently began to gallop in a more focused manner, and might be turning the corner, but rating tactics won't be employed anytime soon.

"We tried that already," Gonzalez said. "If you try and wrestle with him, it's not going to do anybody any good."

Among the other Ontario-sired 3-year-olds entered are Costalivin and The Boy's Ring.

In a field with ample speed, Costalivin could be an effective stalker. He has been idle since ending up seventh in the May 31 Plate Trial Stakes, which was supposed his prelude to the June 21 Queen's Plate.

Trainer John Ross said a blood disorder forced him to bypass the Plate with Costalivin. "Everything's good now, and he's been training well," Ross said.

Ross acknowledged that 1 1/16 miles is probably Costalivin's preferred distance, but said seven furlongs is within his range.

"He's been off for a bit, and I think he'll handle it well," Ross said.

The Boy's Ring was a prominent second in the Bold Ruckus, and he came back to breeze five-eighths in a bullet 59.80 seconds on the Polytrack July 9.