07/13/2008 11:00PM

Displaced palate hampered Not Bourbon


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Harlem Rocker was on his way back to Saratoga on Monday morning.

An impressive winner of Fort Erie's Prince of Wales the previous afternoon, Harlem Rocker will rejoin his trainer, Todd Pletcher, with a possible eye toward the Grade 1 Travers on Aug. 23.

In the meantime, most of the other Prince of Wales entrants were back in their stalls at Woodbine on Monday morning.

Much of the talk centered on Not Bourbon, who finished a disappointing sixth under regular rider Jono Jones.

"He definitely displaced his palate," said Roger Attfield, who trains Not Bourbon. "He was a distressed horse after the race."

Not Bourbon experienced the same problem once before, when he worked a mile in a lackluster 1:45 here May 21.

"Jono couldn't get him settled on Sunday, and he was fighting him," Attfield said. "That's usually what causes a horse to be susceptible to doing that.

"I'm sure we'll be able to put it all correct; we just need a little bit of time."

Taking some time means Not Bourbon will not be in the field here Aug. 3 in the $500,000 Breeders' Stakes, the 1 1/2-mile turf race that is the final leg of Canada's Triple Crown.

"I had to win the Prince of Wales to go on to that, anyway," Attfield said. "I certainly wouldn't do that now. I need to get him over this race. It's a very depressing thing, for a horse that wants to win."

East End Tap continues to improve

East End Tap, who finished sixth in the Queen's Plate, turned in a career-best effort to run second in the Prince of Wales.

The race was East End Tap's third out of the Reade Baker barn, and the colt probably will proceed to the Breeders' Stakes.

"He's improving all the time," said Baker, who was in Lexington on Sunday preparing for the Fasig-Tipton yearling sale. "Every time he works, he looks better. His sire, Pleasant Tap, produces late-maturing horses."

East End Tap would be trying the turf for the first time in the Breeders'.

DePaulo pair target Breeders'

Trainer Mike DePaulo's pair of Pronger and Deputiformer, the third- and fifth-place finishers in the Prince of Wales, also would appear to be Breeders' bound.

Pronger, who was coming off a seven-furlong maiden win here, ran a strange race. He pressed the pace on the inside before dropping back and rallying wide under Fort Erie-based rider Chad Beckon.

"I thought he'd be on the lead, but Chad got him to settle," DePaulo said. "He galloped out real good; he was 10 lengths ahead of the rest of the field."

Pronger has shown little in two turf tries to date, but both came at six furlongs.

"We always thought he'd be best on grass," DePaulo said. "We'll certainly consider the Breeders'."

Deputiformer, who failed to move forward off his fourth-place finish in the Queen's Plate, raced twice on the turf here last year, ending second in a one-mile maiden race and then winning the Cup and Saucer at 1 1/16 miles.

"He's certainly at his best on grass," DePaulo said. "We'll definitely take a shot at the Breeders'."

Sebastian's Song plans to shorten up

Sebastian's Song did move up off his 10th-place finish in the Queen's Plate when running fourth in the Prince of Wales.

But Alec Fehr, who trains Sebastian's Song for Centennial Farms (Niagara) Inc., said the colt is not a candidate for the Breeders'.

"The ride is over," Fehr said. "We have to get realistic and try to win some races with him.

"We have the option of trying turf - he might be good up to a mile - or the main track, at 6o1/2 to seven furlongs. I'm sure he's capable of making a bit of money."

Bond sending Solitaire to Breeders'

Trainer Jim Bond, who watched Pewter finished last of seven in the Prince of Wales, plans to be back from his Saratoga base for the Breeders', but Solitaire will be his starter of choice.

Solitaire finished third in the Queen's Plate when making just his third career start following a close second-place finish behind Not Bourbon in the Plate Trial.

In his debut at Gulfstream on April 14, Solitaire finished an unlucky third in a 1 1/8-mile turf race.

Secret Getaway eyes Secretariat

The Toronto Cup, a 1 1/8-mile turf race for 3-year-olds, is the major local stakes prep for the Breeders'.

But the seven-horse field for last Saturday's running of the Toronto Cup included just two Canadian-breds, and Marlang, coming off a win here in the Charlie Barley at one mile on turf, finished third as the choice over a "good" surface.

"He just didn't handle the going at all," trainer Deborah England said. "He just didn't run his race."

The Toronto Cup winner, for the second time in as many invasions from Arlington Park this year, was Secret Getaway, a Kentucky-bred who is trained by Michael Stidham.

Secret Getaway had won the 1 1/8-mile Victoria Park in his first career try around two turns here June 8. The Toronto Cup was his first race on turf.

"It's nice to know he can handle both surfaces," said Hillary Pridham, who accompanied Secret Getaway on both of his trips to Woodbine. "He keeps on winning, so maybe it's time to step up and see if he can handle the big boys."

That test could come in Arlington's $400,000 Secretariat, a 1 1/4-mile turf race Aug. 9.

"I don't think the mile and a quarter would be a problem for him," Pridham said. "It's a Grade 1, but it is for straight 3-year-olds."

Pletcher watches Mr Mistoffelees work

Pletcher, who was not at Fort Erie, was an unexpected visitor at Woodbine on Monday morning.

Pletcher came in from New York to watch Mr Mistoffelees breeze five furlongs in 1:00 on the main track with Angel Cordero, who had accompanied the trainer on his flight, in the saddle.

Mr Mistoffelees, a 9 1/4-length winner of his debut going 4 1/2 furlongs at Keeneland on April 24, had stumbled badly at the start when running on the dirt at Belmont in the June 29 Tremont.

The colt accompanied Harlem Rocker on his trip from Belmont to Fort Erie and had a layover there before continuing north to Woodbine.

"The way he trained last time he definitely needed a work, and Todd wanted to watch him train over the track," said assistant trainer Ginny DePasquale, who will remain here with Mr Mistoffelees while a decision is made on his status for the $150,000 Colin Stakes on Saturday.

Harlem Rocker had not worked over the track here prior to his dull effort in the Plate Trial.