10/19/2004 11:00PM

Ecomium eyes Grade 1 glory in 3rd start

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ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Sunday's editions of the Canadian International and the E.P. Taylor Stakes will boast a strong European flavor, with five overseas shippers here for the $1.5 million International and four for the $750,000 Taylor.

The European presence was completed Tuesday after Brian Boru, Simonas, and Ecomium checked in for the International and Asti arrived for the Taylor.

The International and the Taylor are Grade 1 turf races, with the 1 1/2-mile International for 3-year-olds and upward and the 1 1/4-mile E.P. Taylor for fillies and mares.

Brian Boru, a Group 1 winner, will be making his second appearance in the International after finishing a close third last year. A 4-year-old colt who is based in Ireland with trainer Aidan O'Brien, Brian Boru is coming off a second-place finish in the Group 1 Irish St. Leger and has made 16 starts in his career while banking $1,055,835.

Simonas, a 5-year-old gelding trained in Germany by Andreas Wohler, won a Group 2 in Italy this year and has raced 14 times over his two campaigns, collecting $234,054.

Ecomium, meanwhile, is a 3-year-old colt who will be making just his third career start in the Canadian International and has earned $22,995. Trained by Jeremy Noseda, Ecomium won his maiden at first asking in a 1 1/4-mile race at Newbury on April 13.

"He's a horse we always had really high hopes of," said David Goodwin, who, along with Russ Archer, accompanied Ecomium on his trip.

Goodwin said there were hopes that Ecomium would run in the British classic races.

"But he was plagued by several minor problems," Goodwin said, "and we had to give him a break right through the summer."

Ecomium finally made it back to the races Oct. 2, when he ran second in a listed stakes at 1 1/4 miles at The Curragh.

"The five months off and the very heavy ground beat him there," said Goodwin.

Goodwin acknowledges that the Canadian International will be a very difficult task for Ecomium. "But if things go right for him, he's definitely a horse with a future," he said.

The ceremonial post position draw for the Canadian International will be held here Friday in the east trackside tent. Chantal Petitclerc, a gold medal winner for Canada in the recent Athens Paralympics, will be the honorary drawmaster.

A field of 11 or 12 is expected, with Strut the Stage a candidate for the International but also guaranteed a spot in the Breeders' Cup Turf the following Saturday.

International candidates
Grade 1; $1.5 million; 1 1/2 miles, turf

HorseTrainerJockey
Brian BoruA. O'BrienJ. Spencer
Burst of FireM. FrostadS. Callaghan
Colorful JudgementM. FrostadT. Kabel
EcomiumJ. NosedaM. Kinane
King's DramaR. FrankelJ. Velasquez
Lenny the LenderR. JukoskyC. Sutherland
MubtakerM. TregoningR. Hills
SabiangoT. YakteenB. Blanc
Senor SwingerB. BaffertE. Prado
SimonasA. WohlerK Fallon
Strut the StageM. FrostadT. Kabel
SulamaniS. bin SuroorF. Dettori