11/08/2005 1:00AM

DePaulo counts on a healthy Shillelagh Slew

Michael Burns Photo Ltd.
Financingavailable had just three '05 starts.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Shillelagh Slew failed to make much of an impact as the favorite in Woodbine's $253,200 Cup and Saucer last time out. But trainer Mike DePaulo has reason to believe that Shillelagh Slew was not at his best that day, and DePaulo will be looking for a much better performance in Thursday's $250,000 Coronation Futurity.

The Coronation Futurity was scheduled for last Sunday but was a casualty when high winds cut short the program. Woodbine's policy calls for a canceled stakes to be rescheduled at the first available opportunity, and entries already had been taken for Wednesday's program.

The Cup and Saucer, at 1 1/16 miles on the turf, and the Coronation Futurity, at 1 1/8 miles on the main track, are the meeting's fall classics for Canadian-bred 2-year-olds.

"His blood was just slightly off," said DePaulo, looking back on Shillelagh Slew's eighth-place Cup and Saucer finish. "It's good now. He's a fit horse.

"We still have an ongoing thing with his soft palate, and we're going to straighten that out over the winter, but I think we have it under control now."

Shillelagh Slew finished third when debuting over seven furlongs on turf here Sept. 3, and he returned four weeks later to graduate at the same distance on the main track.

"He may be better on dirt. It's hard to say," said DePaulo. "He's trained good over every surface he's been on. I think he's a very good horse.

"He should do his thing on Thursday. I think he's a router."

Lahave out of Coronation, done for year

The Coronation will go with at least one fewer contestant, as Lahave, who is among the 12 entrants, will not be participating.

His trainer, Edward Freeman, actually was grateful that the Coronation Futurity was not run on Sunday.

"He would have run horrible," said the Fort Erie-based Freeman. "I'd been slightly worried about him, and it gave me a chance to send him out for a good gallop Monday.

"He came back with a bunch of mucus. He must have just got sick up here. It's disappointing, but it's not the end of the world."

Lahave made his first two starts at Fort Erie, winning a maiden race by 8 1/4 lengths at six furlongs in his second race, but then finished last of seven under jockey Todd Kabel here in the Grade 3 Grey at 1 1/16 miles.

"The Grey was his first two-turn race, and he was wide on both turns," said Freeman. "And when Kabel came back, he said to put blinkers on him."

Lahave had won his maiden race with blinkers off, and blinker changes are generally not permitted following a victory. The blinkers were scheduled to go back on in the Coronation Futurity, but the issue now is academic, as Lahave will not see action again this year.

"He's going to California," said Freeman, whose winter quarters are at San Luis Rey Downs, Calif. "He's pretty immature, but I think he's a pretty nice horse."

Just nine in Labeeb, one from Richards

Sunday's supporting feature, the Labeeb Stakes, also will be run on Thursday, but the original field of 15 has been reduced to nine after six horses were scratched Sunday when the race was switched to the main track.

Trainer Lorne Richards had entered both My Lucky Strike and P.J.'s Paulie Boy in the Labeeb, originally scheduled for one mile on turf but moved to the main track at a mile and 70 yards.

My Lucky Strike stayed in, but P.J.'s Paulie Boy is out of the mix.

"I think he'll still run well," said Richards of My Lucky Strike, who is owned by K.K. Sangara. "It's a little further than his best distance, but the way things are right now, you've got to run when you can."

My Lucky Strike, a 6-year-old gelding, won going 1 1/16 miles here last fall and then was claimed for $80,000 by Richards in his final start of the season.

This year, My Lucky Strike has stuck to sprinting and banked $124,368 from six outings.

"He's run fast this year," said Richards. "He's won on dirt and turf, but I think he's better on turf."

P.J.'s Paulie Boy, a 7-year-old horse who was purchased privately from trainer Mark Casse at the conclusion of his 2004 campaign, is winless in six starts this year but has finished second or third five times, banking $62,388.

Richards said that had the Labeeb stayed on the turf, "I would have run him, just to give him another crack at it," said Richards.

Season over for Financingavailable

Financingavailable, a 4-year-old filly who was purchased privately from Casse last summer, made it to the post just three times this year and is through for the season.

After finishing third in her seasonal bow in the Zadracarta over six furlongs on turf here June 19, Financingavailable won under allowance terms over six and seven furlongs on the main track in a disrupted campaign.

"We had her going last week, but there's still some heat in a leg," said Richards. "There's just not enough time."

Palladio has rail in Calder stakes

Palladio, winner of the 1 1/8-mile Ontario Derby in his latest start here, has drawn post 1 for Saturday's $200,000 Carl G. Rose Handicap at Calder. Regular rider Richard Dos Ramos has the call on Palladio for the Carl G. Rose, a 1 1/8-mile race for Florida-bred 3-year-olds and upward. Palladio is trained by Roger Attfield.

Among those accompanying Palladio on the southbound van was Noble Stella, who finished a close sixth in the Grade 1 E.P. Taylor Stakes here last time out.

Noble Stella, a 4-year-old, could see action at Calder in the Grade 2, $200,000 La Prevoyante, a 1 1/2-mile turf race for fillies and mares on Dec. 17.