06/27/2005 12:00AM

Few commit to second leg

Michael Burns Photography
Dance With Ravens will be closely examined to determine if he has a physical problem.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario - King of Jazz, who like Wild Desert was making his first start at Woodbine in the Queen's Plate, certainly didn't lose any luster in his second-place finish.

"My horse ran a super race," said Ian Wilkes, an assistant to trainer Carl Nafzger. "The winner had a little more seasoning. He was just too good for us today."

While neither Wild Desert nor the Kentucky-based King of Jazz is a sure bet to return, a rematch between those two in Fort Erie's July 17 Prince of Wales Stakes is possible.

The $500,000 Prince of Wales, a 1 3/16-mile race for Canadian-bred 3-year-olds, is the second leg of Canada's Triple Crown.

King of Jazz was on his way back to his Churchill Downs base on Monday.

"We'll see how he comes out of this, and look at our options," said Wilkes.

As for Wild Desert, he also is under consideration for the Prince of Wales, said majority owner Daniel Borislow.

The connections of Queen's Plate also-rans Ablo (fifth), Granique (sixth), and Get Down (eighth) all expressed an interest in the Prince of Wales.

Dance With Ravens, who finished seventh as the favorite, will be undergoing a thorough check-up.

"He warmed up great," said trainer Mark Frostad. "But he came out of the gate like he was funny behind. It will be a few days before we know where we're at."

Immediate plans are also uncertain for Three in the Bag, who ran last after being the official first-place finisher in the Plate Trial.

One Plate contestant who definitely will not be going to the Prince of Wales is the filly Gold Strike, who performed creditably while finishing third just two weeks after winning the 1 1/8-mile Woodbine Oaks.

"I thought she was home and cooled out at the three-eighths pole," admitted trainer Reade Baker. "I think her getting beat was a combination of things. The two weeks didn't help and the track was dry and cuppy; that hurt her chances.

"She also was ranker than I thought she would be; that's my fault. I don't know why she was like that."

Baker said he hopes to give Gold Strike a breather and then point her toward a series of local filly stakes beginning with the seven-furlong Duchess on Aug. 13.

The most pleasant surprise of the Plate had to be Molinaro Beau, the maiden who more than doubled his previous bankroll by picking up $60,000 for his fourth-place finish.

Trainer Phil England said Molinaro Beau is "extremely unlikely" for the Prince of Wales but is a candidate for the final leg of the Canadian Triple Crown, the $500,000 Breeders' over 1 1/2 miles of turf here Aug. 7.