10/17/2006 12:00AM

European trio takes to the track


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Three of the four European candidates for Sunday's $2 million Canadian International had their first taste of Woodbine's turf course on a rainy and cool Tuesday morning.

A field of 10 is expected to be announced for the Canadian International at a special ceremonial draw beginning at 12 p.m. in the trackside tent here Thursday.

Bryan Colangelo, president and general manager of the National Basketball Association's Toronto Raptors, will be the honorary drawmaster.

Kastoria, The Last Drop, and Collier Hill all cantered on the yielding course Tuesday as they continued their preparations for the Grade 1 Canadian International, a 1 1/2-mile turf race for 3-year-olds and upward.

Blue Monday, also pointing for the Canadian International, walked the shed row for a second day after arriving along with his fellow Europeans on Sunday.

Kastoria, an Irish-bred 5-year-old trained in Ireland by John Oxx, will be looking to become the sixth filly or mare and the first since Infamy in 1988 to win the Canadian International during the 50 years of its history here at Woodbine.

Kastoria will be seeking her fourth straight stakes win and second consecutive Group 1 success. In her last start, at the Curragh on Sept. 16, Kastoria won the 1 3/4-mile Irish St. Leger by a half-length, with the formidable stayer Yeats the runner-up.

On Tuesday, Kastoria cantered six furlongs here under her groom, Philip Carey, who accompanied the mare along with assistant trainer Jim O'Neill and veterinarian Des Leadon.

"She's fit, she really doesn't need to do any work," said O'Neill, who was last here with Timarida when that filly won the E.P. Taylor Stakes for Oxx in 1995.

Kastoria "couldn't run in the E.P. Taylor," O'Neill noted. "It would be too short."

Mick Kinane, who won the 2002 Canadian International with Ballingarry, retains the mount on Kastoria.

More visitors expected

Relaxed Gesture and Meteor Storm, the one-two finishers in last year's Canadian International, were scheduled to arrive on Wednesday, with Go Deputy, the other U.S. shipper, due early Friday morning.

Locally based Sky Conqueror, Jambalaya, and Last Answer complete the prospective field.