09/13/2010 1:54PM

Eye of the Leopard back at the scene of his biggest triumph

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Michael Burns
Eye of the Leopard is back at Woodbine with trainer Mark Frostad after missing the board in two starts this year for Neil Howard.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Eye of the Leopard, last year’s Queen’s Plate winner, returns to the local scene Wednesday night at Woodbine in the featured sixth race, a third-level allowance with an $80,000-claiming option.

Eye of the Leopard, a Sam-Son Farm homebred by A.P. Indy, blossomed in the spring of 2009, when he won the Plate Trial Stakes just three weeks after his maiden triumph. He subsequently captured the $1 million Plate in a three-way photo, over Mr. Foricos Two U and Woodbine Oaks winner Milwaukee Appeal.

Eye of the Leopard went on to finish third in the second leg of the Canadian Triple Crown, the Prince of Wales Stakes on the dirt at Fort Erie, and then finished far back in the Breeders’ Stakes on turf.

After ending up sixth in the Sept. 27 Ontario Derby, Eye of the Leopard was turned over to trainer Neil Howard. He missed the board in both of his starts this year for Howard, and was recently sent back to trainer Mark Frostad.

Eurico Da Silva has the mount on Eye of the Leopard, who is a full brother to this year’s Plate runner-up, Hotep.

Barreling Home has been idle since winning both of his starts with authority in July, an optional claimer and a $20,000 claimer. A son of Awesome Again, he has been working regularly, and Luis Contreras will ride him for trainer Sean Smullen.

Ice Bear is the lone entrant competing with for a claiming price. A three-time stakes winner, he hasn’t found the mark since his allowance victory over Stunning Stag and Palladio in October, and is winless in five tries at this stand.

Krista Carignan, Fort Erie’s leading rider, was named on Ice Bear, a 6-year-old trained by Mac Benson.

Calimonco has been freshened since his victory in a seven-furlong optional claimer on the grass here July 18, in which he defeated next-out winners Auteur and Reservoir.

Calimonco has a record of 1-2-3 from seven synthetic track excursions. That win came in a first-level allowance that was taken off the turf and contested over Keeneland’s Polytrack in April of 2009.

Fundy is exiting an uncharacteristically poor effort here in a slow-paced sprint, which was his first outing in over five months. He performed well on the dirt at the Fair Grounds last winter.

Fundy is one of two Roger Attfield-trained runners in the field, along with Tutti Buona Gente, who hasn’t started since Nov. 14.