06/26/2001 11:00PM

Exciting Story back to turf


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Exciting Story, winner of the Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap, will make his first start since that victory when he runs in Saturday's fourth race at Woodbine, a one-mile allowance on the grass.

Exciting Story sprung a 56-1 upset in the Met Mile at Belmont on May 28, when he came from off the pace in the mud to beat Peeping Tom by three-quarters of a length.

Trainer Mark Casse is looking at turf fixtures such as the Grade 1 Atto Mile here Sept. 9 and the Breeders' Cup Mile for Exciting Story, who was beaten 3 1/2 lengths, finishing fifth in a return from an extended layoff, the only time he tried the grass, That came in an optional claimer last July 8.

"His only grass race came in his first start after he suffered a serious injury," Casse pointed out. "He was a 3-year-old coming off a nine-month layoff, and I had to run him against older horses, because he didn't really have any conditions. He ran a very creditable race."

Exciting Story was also under consideration for Sunday's 1 1/4-mile Dominion Day Handicap here on the main track.

"I don't think he can accomplish any more than he has going less than a mile," said Casse, "so I want to try something different with him."

Exciting Story will face five opponents in the $73,900 event, restricted to horses who have not won $44,340 twice at a mile or over this year. He is eligible for the race because his first victory this season came at seven furlongs.

Prime Timber, second in the 1999 Santa Anita Derby, makes his first start for Casse in the fifth race on the card, a $100,000 optional claimer on the grass.

Patrick Husbands will ride both Exciting Story and Prime Timber.

Poetically gets in Bison City work

Poetically, Canada's champion 2-year-old filly of 2000, breezed five furlongs in 1:01 under regular rider David Clark here Wednesday in her final tune-up for Sunday's $250,000 Bison City at Fort Erie.

"She worked very nicely," said Roger Attfield, who trains Poetically. "She came the last eighth the way we wanted her to."

Poetically, a triple stakes winner in her first year at the races, has made it to the post just once this season, finishing third when she faced older rivals at seven furlongs here May 26.

A homebred daughter of Silver Deputy, Poetically had been scheduled to begin her campaign at Keeneland this April with an eye toward the June 9 Labatt Woodbine Oaks, but a blood disorder and skin infection scuttled that program.

"I'm very happy with where she is right now," said Attfield. "She's all set to go down" to Fort Erie.

The 1 1/16-mile Bison City is the second leg in Canada's triple crown for fillies, which began with the $500,000 Labatt Woodbine Oaks over 1 1/8 miles and will conclude with the $250,000 Wonder Where over 1 1/4 miles on turf here Sept. 29.

Expected to face Poetically at Fort Erie are Dancen in the Sun, Quick Blue, and Penny Perfect, who were the second-through-fourth finishers here in the Oaks, plus Classical Romance, winner of the 1 1/16-mile South Ocean here last fall but a disappointment thus far in 2001.

All but Quick Blue are based at Woodbine.

Quick Blue, trained in New York by Linda Rice, returned to Belmont following the Oaks and arrived at Fort Erie Tuesday afternoon.

A Cure the Blues filly, Quick Blue will be racing over her sixth different track in her sixth career start Sunday, having competed at Saratoga, Hialeah, Aqueduct, and Belmont before finishing 4 1/4 lengths behind Oaks winner Dancethruthedawn.

"I think it was a good effort, obviously, after watching the filly [Dancethruthedawn] come back to win the Queen's Plate," said Rice, who plans to join Quick Blue at Fort Erie on Saturday evening.

The trainer also believes Quick Blue will be the better for her Woodbine outing. "It was her first time around two turns, and first time at the distance," said Rice. "I expect her to run an improved race."

Quick Blue again will be ridden by Emile Ramsammy, while Mickey Walls retains the mount on Dancen in the Sun and Gary Boulanger, who piloted Dancethruthedawn to her Plate victory last Sunday for owner trainer Mark Frostad, takes over aboard Penny Perfect. Steven Bahen has the call on Classical Romance.

Todd Kabel, who rode Penny Perfect in the Oaks, will stay at Woodbine to partner Seek Smartly for Sam-Son in Sunday's $150,000 Dominion Day Handicap.

Seek Smartly will be making his stakes debut in the Grade 3 Dominion Day, a 1 1/4-mile race for 3-year-olds and upward.

He was just resting

Sick as a Parrot trained by Michael Dickinson, arrived at Woodbine on Wednesday morning for the Dominion Day.

Bred and raced in England, the 6-year-old Sick as a Parrot was returning from a layoff of almost 18 months when he won the May 28 Norristown Handicap over 1 1/8 miles of muddy going at Philadelphia Park in his North American debut. Jim McKnight has the call.