03/30/2006 1:00AM

Early baby races will be just two furlongs


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - There are several noteworthy changes in the types of races being carded at Woodbine this year, including the scheduling of the first two-furlong maiden 2-year-old races in the track's 50-year history.

Two-furlong sprints for 2-year-olds have not been run at Toronto area tracks since the mid-1970's, when they were contested at Greenwood.

According to Chris Evans, Woodbine's vice president of Thoroughbred racing, 4 1/2-furlong maiden sprints for 2-year-olds will commence in mid-May and will alternate with the abbreviated dashes until the end of June, at which point the quarter-milers will be discontinued.

Whips will not be allowed in the two-furlong races, which will be limited to 10 starters. The first one is scheduled for April 16, a maiden special with a $60,000 purse.

The so-called "A" and "B" allowance and maiden special weight events will remain the status quo, but Evans said he would like to modify the "B" races in the near future.

"I'm waiting for a list of directives from the Ontario Racing Commission," Evans said. "If they change the rules to allow us to put restrictions on those races, we will."

An "A" allowance is for nonwinners of a race other than maiden or claiming, or nonwinners of two, while a "B" allowance is a more restricted entry-level event, with a smaller purse.

The "B" allowances in the first condition book are limited to nonwinners of two or nonwinners of $36,000 in their last two starts. Evans said he would like to modify them to preclude runners who placed in an "A" allowance or tougher in their previous couple of starts.

"That way, a [good] horse would be less likely to drop into those races," Evans said. "It should help make for more competitive fields."

Last August, English invader Saint Etienne finished a fast-closing second after a sluggish start here in the Grade 3 Royal North Handicap. She won a "B" allowance in her next start as the 2-5 favorite, a race for which she would have been ineligible under the changes proposed by Evans.

Evans said the traditional maiden events combining 3- and 4-year-olds have been discontinued this spring. They have been replaced by separate races, for 3-year-olds only and 4-year-olds and up.

"With the earlier beginning to the season, some people think it's unfair to run 3-year-olds against 4-year-olds early in the season," Evans said. "I don't know if there will be enough 4-year-olds to fill those races, but we're going to try it and see what happens. If we can't fill them come May or June, then we're going to have to revert to maiden 3-and-up."

Evans said the $400 purse payment for runners finishing sixth or worse, implemented last year, will continue this year.

"It didn't spike our field size the way we had hoped, but I think everybody appreciates the fact that there is a cost to running a horse," Evans said. "If you're not sure about your chances, it basically covers your costs."

Win Four now a 20-cent bet

The only change in the betting profile for live racing is a 20-cent base for the Win Four, which was previously a $1 wager. Woodbine implemented a 20-cent superfecta last spring, and the success of that wager led to this experiment with the Win Four, according to Sean Pinsonneault, Woodbine's vice president of wagering services.

"We've had great success with what we've done with the superfecta," Pinsonneault said. "The superfecta pools have increased 25 to 30 percent."

2006 stakes schedule

Sat.,April 15JACQUES CARTIER4YO & Up6 furlongs$125,000
Sun.,April 16WHIMSICAL (G3) F&M, 4YO & Up6 furlongs125,000
Sat.,April 22 WOODSTOCK3YO6 furlongs125,000
Sun.,April 23STAR SHOOT3YO F6 furlongs125,000
Sat.,April 29VIGIL (G3)4YO & Up7 furlongs150,000
Sat.,May 6QUEENSTON3YO**7 furlongs150,000
Sun.,May 7FURY3YO F**7 furlongs 150,000
Sat.,May 13NEW PROVIDENCE3YO & Up*6 furlongs 125,000
Sun.,May 14GEORGE C. HENDRIE (G3) F&M, 4YO & Up 6 1/2 furlongs150,000
Sat.,May 20MARINE (G3)3YO1 1/16 miles150,000
Sun.,May 21SELENE (G3)3YO F1 1/16 miles250,000
Mon.,May 22ECLIPSE (G3)4YO & Up1 1/16 miles 150,000
Sat.,May 27 LADY ANGELA3YO F*7 furlongs125,000
Sun.,May 28CONNAUGHT CUP (G3)4YO & Up1 1/16 miles (T)150,000
Sat.,June 3NASSAU (G2) F&M, 3YO & Up 1 1/16 miles (T)300,000
Sun.,June 4 PLATE TRIAL3YO*1 1/8 miles150,000
Wed.,June 7BALLADEF&M, 3YO & Up*6 furlongs125,000
Sat.,June 10STEADY GROWTH3YO & Up*1 1/16 miles125,000
Sun.,June 11LABATT WOODBINE OAKS3YO F*1 1/8 miles500,000
Sun.,June 11VICTORIA PARK3YO1 1/8 miles125,000
Wed.,June 14BOLD RUCKUS3YO*6 furlongs (T)125,000
Sat.,June 17 HILL 'N' DALE F&M, 3YO & Up 1 1/16 miles 100,000
Sun.,June 18VICTORIA2YO5 furlongs125,000
Sun.,June 25QUEEN'S PLATE3YO* 1 1/4 miles1,000,000
Sun.,June 25 SCOTTS HIGHLANDER (G3) 3YO & Up6 furlongs (T)200,000
Sat.,July 1 DOMINION DAY (G3) 3YO & Up1 1/4 miles200,000
Sat.,July 1 ACHIEVEMENT 3YO** 6 furlongs150,000
Sun.,July 2 MY DEAR2YO F5 furlongs125,000
Mon.,July 3 KING EDWARD BC (G2) 3YO & Up 1 1/8 miles (T)300,000
Sat., July 8CLARENDON2YO** 5 1/2 furlongs150,000
Sun.,July 9 ONTARIO DAMSEL3YO F** 6 1/2 furlongs (T)150,000
Sat.,July 15 DANCE SMARTLY (G2) F&M, 3YO & Up 1 1/8 miles (T)300,000
Sat.,July 15TORONTO CUP 3YO1 1/8 miles (T)150,000
Sun.,July 16 SHADY WELL2YO F**5 1/2 furlongs150,000
Wed.,July 19DEPUTY MINISTER 3YO* 7 furlongs 125,000
Sat.,July 22BOLD VENTURE 3YO & Up6 1/2 furlongs125,000
Sat.,July 22 COLIN2YO6 furlongs125,000
Sun.,July 23 NORTHERN DANCER BC TURF (G2) 3YO & Up 1 1/2 miles (T)700,000
Sat.,July 23 ONTARIO MATRONF&M, 3YO & Up 1 1/16 miles125,000
Wed.,July 26PASSING MOOD3YO F* 7 furlongs (T)125,000
Sat.,July 29 WONDER WHERE 3YO F* 1 1/4 miles (T)250,000
Sat.,July 30 CHINESE CULTURAL CENTRE (G3)3YO & Up 1 1/16 miles150,000
Sat.,Aug. 5NANDI2YO F*6 furlongs125,000
Sun.,Aug. 6BREEDERS' 3YO*1 1/2 miles (T)500,000
Sun.,Aug. 6SHEPPERTON3YO & Up*6 1/2 furlongs125,000
Mon.,Aug. 7 ROYAL NORTH (G3) F&M, 3YO & Up 6 furlongs (T)150,000
Sat.,Aug. 12DUCHESS 3YO F7 furlongs150,000
Sun.,Aug. 13VANDAL2YO**6 furlongs150,000
Sat.,Aug. 19ONTARIO DEBUTANTE2YO F6 furlongs125,000
Sun.,Aug. 20 VICTORIANAF&M, 3YO & Up* 1 1/16 miles (T)125,000
Sat.,Aug. 26PLAY THE KING (G2) 3YO & Up 7 furlongs (T)200,000
Sun.,Aug. 27 NIJINSKY (G2) 3YO & Up1 1/2 miles (T)300,000
Wed.,Aug. 30 ETERNAL SEARCH3YO F*1 1/16 miles125,000
Sat.,Sept. 2 ONTARIO COLLEEN3YO F1 mile (T)125,000
Sun.,Sept. 3 VICE REGENT3YO* 1 mile (T)125,000
Mon.,Sept. 4MUSKOKA2YO F*7 furlongs125,000
Mon.,Sept. 4SIMCOEC&G,2YO*7 furlongs125,000
Mon.,Sept. 4ALGOMAF&M, 3YO & Up* 1 1/16 miles125,000
Mon.,Sept. 4 ELGINC&G, 3YO & Up*1 1/16 miles125,000
Mon.,Sept. 4 KENORA3YO & Up*6 furlongs125,000
Mon.,Sept. 4 HALTON3YO & Up*1 mile (T)125,000
Sat.,Sept. 9 SEAWAY (G3) F&M, 3YO & Up7 furlongs150,000
Sun.,Sept. 10 NATALMA (G3)2YO F1 mile (T)150,000
Sat.,Sept. 16LA PREVOYANTE3YO F*1 mile (T)125,000
Sat.,Sept. 16 SWYNFORD 2YO 7 furlongs125,000
Sun.,Sept. 17 BELL WOODBINE MILE (G1) 3YO & Up1 mile (T)1,000,000
Sun.,Sept. 17 CANADIAN (G2) F&M, 3YO & Up 1 1/8 miles (T)300,000
Sun.,Sept. 17 SUMMER (G3)2YO1 mile (T)250,000
Wed.,Sept. 20OVERSKATE3YO & Up*7 furlongs125,000
Sat.,Sept. 23 LA LORGNETTE 3YO F1 1/16 miles125,000
Sun.,Sept. 24SKY CLASSIC (G2) 3YO & Up1 3/8 miles (T)300,000
Sat.,Sept. 30 MAZARINE BC (G3) 2YO F 1 1/16 miles250,000
Sun.,Oct. 1 ONTARIO DERBY (G3 3YO1 1/8 miles200,000
Wed.,Oct. 4VICTORIAN QUEEN2YOF*6 furlongs125,000
Sat.,Oct. 7 CAROTENE3YO F** 1 1/8 miles (T)150,000
Mon.,Oct. 9GREY BC (G3) 2YO1 1/16 miles250,000
Mon.,Oct. 9CLASSY 'N SMARTF&M, 3YO & Up*1 1/16 miles125,000
Sat.,Oct. 14DURHAM CUP (G3)3YO & Up1 1/8 miles150,000
Sat.,Oct. 14BULL PAGEC&G, 2YO*6 furlongs125,000
Sun.,Oct. 15CUP AND SAUCER2YO*1 1/16 miles (T)250,000
Sat.,Oct. 21 PRINCESS ELIZABETH2YO F* 1 1/16 miles 250,000
Sun.,Oct. 22PATTISON CANADIAN INTL (G1)3YO & Up1 1/2 miles (T)2,000,000
Sun.,Oct. 22E.P. TAYLOR (G1) F&M, 3YO & Up 1 1/4 miles (T)1,000,000
Sun.,Oct. 22NEARCTIC (G2)3YO & Up6 furlongs (T)500,000
Sat.,Oct. 28FANFRELUCHE2YO F**6 furlongs150,000
Sat.,Oct. 29BUNTY LAWLESS 3YO & Up* 1 mile (T)125,000
Sat.,Nov. 4ONTARIO FASHION F&M, 3YO & Up 6 furlongs 125,000
Sat.,Nov. 5 CORONATION FUTURITY 2YO* 1 1/8 miles 250,000
Wed.,Nov. 8SOUTH OCEAN2YO F*1 1/16 miles125,000
Sat.,Nov. 11MAPLE LEAF F&M, 3YO & Up 1 1/4 miles 175,000
Sun.,Nov. 12JAMMED LOVELY3YO F**7 furlongs150,000
Wed.,Nov. 15FROST KING2YO*7 furlongs 125,000
Sat.,Nov. 18WOODBINE SLOTS CUP (G3)3YO & Up1 1/16 miles150,000
Sun.,Nov. 19 KENNEDY ROAD3YO & Up6 furlongs125,000
Sun.,Nov. 19GLORIOUS SONG2YO F7 furlongs125,000
Sat.,Nov. 25 DISPLAY2YO1 1/16 miles125,000
Sat.,Nov. 26BESSARABIANF&M, 3YO & Up 7 furlongs 150,000
Sat.,Dec. 2ONTARIO LASSIE2YO F**1 1/16 miles150,000
Sat.,Dec. 2KINGARVIE2YO*1 1/16 miles125,000
Sun.,Dec. 3VALEDICTORY 3YO & Up1 3/4 miles125,000
Sun.,Dec. 3 SIR BARTONC&G, 3YO & Up*1 1/16 miles125,000

*Foaled in Canada; **Foaled in Ontario; *Ontario-sired