05/03/2006 11:00PM

Edenwold launches campaign

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ETOBICOKE, Ontario - The road to the $1 million Queen's Plate on June 25 begins in earnest Saturday at Woodbine in the seven-furlong $150,000 Queenston Stakes.

Among the seven Ontario-foaled 3-year-olds in the lineup are last year's Canadian champion 2-year-old, Edenwold, his speedy stablemate Vibank, and the unbeaten Bad Hat.

Edenwold took 4 of 8 outings last year under the guidance of trainer Josie Carroll. He won three consecutive sprint stakes in the summer, but could only manage fourth in the Coronation Futurity and fifth in the Display Stakes when going long in November.

Edenwold spent the winter at Santa Anita, and is returning from a five-month layoff.

"He had some minor surgery after his last race," Carroll said. "It's a tough spot for his first start back, but having gone through his conditions, this is the type of race he has to run in."

Edenwold, the 124-pound highweight, is making his first start with Lasix.

Vibank was third in the Sovereign Award voting for champion 2-year-old. He was far back in his season opener, in the Baldwin Stakes at Santa Anita, but rebounded with a runner-up placing here two weeks ago over a sloppy strip in the six-furlong Woodstock Stakes.

Carroll felt that Vibank didn't handle the surface in the Woodstock.

"He didn't really care for the sloppy track," Carroll said, "but he came out of it well, so we thought he was ready to come right back."

Bad Hat made all three of his starts at 2 in Ontario-sired company, winning a maiden special, the Frost King Stakes, and the Kingarvie Stakes.

Trainer Mike DePaulo said Bad Hat developed a foot problem just prior to the Kingarvie.

"He popped a quarter crack the day before the race," DePaulo said. "He was off the bridle quite a bit, and his foot was bleeding in the picture, so it had to have been bothering him, but he still won. His feet are excellent right now."

Bad Hat wintered in Florida and is plenty fit, according to DePaulo.

"He's had plenty of miles," DePaulo said. "He's good to go."

Trainer Reade Baker entered two horses, including 9-1 Woodstock winner Atlas Shrugs.

Thinking Out Loud, the 2005 Coronation winner, is launching his campaign.

Perhaps the most intriguing entrant is Town Chief, a maiden who has been keeping some tough company at Santa Anita. He is exiting a third-place finish in a maiden special behind Quietly Go, who subsequently doubled up in a first-level allowance with a 102 Beyer Figure.