06/08/2004 12:00AM

Estevan has right pedigree for grass


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Woodstock Stakes runner-up Estevan will take on older opponents in his turf debut in Thursday's eighth race, a second-level allowance run at six furlongs.

Estevan, a Grand Slam colt trained by Josie Carroll, was one of the top 2-year-olds at Woodbine last year. He won his maiden by 24 lengths in his second start in August, and finished third as the heavy favorite next time out, in the Swynford Stakes.

Estevan subsequently finished fifth in the Grade 2 Grey Breeders' Cup Stakes and then capped his campaign with a six-length allowance win in the slop. He was fifth following a winter layoff, in an April 2 allowance at Keeneland, and has been absent since finishing three-quarters of a length behind Nyuk Nyuk Nyuk in the April 24 Woodstock.

Estevan possesses a good grass pedigree. His dam has thrown three turf winners from four starters, including Transylvania Stakes winner Field Cat.

The other runners who made it into the body of Thursday's feature are Dumaani Star, Snake Pit, Slick as Sleet, Mynavigator, I'm Speechless, Shipman, Super Case, Highland Turn, and Cobra Star.

Super Case is another talented colt trying the grass for the first time. A son of Gold Case, Super Case won his first two races here in the fall, including a six-furlong allowance. He was 11th in his lone start this year, in a very tough Gulfstream allowance Jan. 24. The first two finishers in that race went on to win their next start.

Super Case is a half-brother to a pair of grass winners, including Collect the Cash, who won the Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth Challenge Cup on the turf.

I'm Speechless, a speedy 4-year-old by Roy, is also running on turf for the first time. He won 5 of 7 starts in 2003 and finished third and fourth in races at this level last month. I'm Speechless is a half-brother to turf debut winner Oklahoma Hello, who banked $114,040 on the turf.

Dumaani Star and Slick as Sleet are turf specialists, and both are returning from extended layoffs.

Dumaani Star earned an 86 Beyer Figure when he ran second in his 2003 bow, a 6 1/2-furlong preliminary allowance. He subsequently won that condition going a mile and could be closing prominently in this spot.

Slick as Sleet was victorious in 2 of 4 starts last year, including a six-furlong allowance. He was beaten about three lengths by Chris's Bad Boy when sixth in his final 2003 appearance.