07/18/2006 11:00PM

First Northern Dancer looks set

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Bill Denver / EquiPhotos
Revved Up comes into Saturday's Northern Dancer off two wins in his two starts this year.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Northern Dancer never raced beyond age 3 or at 1 1/2 miles on the turf, but seven older horses look set to compete at that distance in the first running of the Northern Dancer Breeders' Cup Turf at Woodbine Sunday.

The Northern Dancer will be the second race conducted under Woodbine's big-race surveillance program, which began with last month's Queen's Plate. Under the terms of the program, all prospective Northern Dancer entrants were required to be on the grounds no later than 10:30 a.m. Tuesday morning, 48 hours before the closing of entries. Blood samples were taken Tuesday afternoon, and the horses will be subject to random spot checks by security until Sunday morning. Full surveillance will be in effect until race time.

Revved Up and Porfido, the only shippers for the Northern Dancer, were expected to join locally based horses Jambalaya, Last Answer, Pellegrino, Shoal Water, and Sky Conqueror as entrants at a ceremonial draw here Thursday.

Revved Up has won both of his starts this year, including the Chris Thomas Turf Classic at Tampa Bay Downs on May 6 and a $100,000 optional claimer at Belmont on June 23. Trainer Christophe Clement has given the call to Brice Blanc, who rode Revved Up to victory in the Niagara and to a second-place finish in the Sky Classic last year.

Garrett Gomez retains the mount on Porfido, a former Chilean star who finished fifth behind Revved Up in the June 23 optional claimer. That race was Porfido's only North American appearance and his debut for trainer Bobby Frankel.

Sunday's card also is scheduled to include the $125,000 Ontario Matron, a 1 1/16-mile race for fillies and mares, and the $75,000 Ontario Jockey Club, a seven-furlong overnight stakes on turf for 3-year-olds and upward. The Ontario Jockey Club, which requires at least five separate wagering interests to be carded, attracted 29 nominees.

Stakes doubleheader on Saturday

The $125,000 Bold Venture and the $125,000 Colin will anchor a 10-race program here Saturday.

The Bold Venture, a 7 1/2-furlong race for 3-year-olds and upward, attracted a field of six headed by Judiths Wild Rush, Canada's Sovereign Award-winning sprinter of 2005. Judiths Wild Rush has won his last three starts, all at Woodbine. Trained by Reade Baker, he will be the 126-pound highweight under regular rider Jim McAleney.

Opposing Judiths Wild Rush will be Are You Serious, Twisted Wit, Lakeville Rush, Gangster, and Disbelief.

Gangster and Disbelief both were supplemented to the Bold Venture at a cost of $2,500, which includes the $1,250 entry fee.

The Colin, a five-furlong race for 2-year-olds, drew eight entrants, including the invaders Datrick and Gone to Ground.

McAleney will ride Datrick, and Patrick Husbands will ride Gone to Ground.

The local entrants for the Colin are Pete's Wonder, Magical Fortune, Barilko, Diamond Max, Fast Trick, and Bluelick, who was supplemented at a cost of $2,500, including the $1,250 entry fee.

Looking ahead to Passing Mood

Next week's stakes action will begin with Wednesday's $125,000 Passing Mood, a seven-furlong turf race for 3-year-old fillies.

The Passing Mood attracted 15 nominees, including Perigee Girl, who is coming off a fourth-place finish in the open Alywow over 6 1/2 furlongs on turf here June 11. She is one of the more talented nominees, but is suspect at the distance.

Archeress looms a major contender in the Passing Mood. Trained by Mike DePaulo, Archeress rallied to win a first-level allowance over six furlongs when making her turf debut here June 10 and then finished a close third in a third-level allowance over six furlongs on turf July 2.

That last race, however, comes with a story.

DePaulo noted that Archeress had arrived in the paddock with toe grabs on her hind shoes, which are not allowed on Woodbine's turf course as of this year.

"We had the choice of scratching her or taking the shoes off," said DePaulo. "It was an easy decision to make. She ran a good race."

Archeress worked four furlongs in 49.20 seconds here Wednesday morning.

Wonder Where around the corner

Next Saturday, Canadian-bred 3-year-old fillies will be in the spotlight in the $250,000 Wonder Where, a 1 1/4-mile turf race that is the final leg of the Canadian filly triple crown series.

The Wonder Where drew 16 nominees and will feature another clash between Kimchi and Sweet Breanna, who have finished one-two in both the Woodbine Oaks and the Bison City at Fort Erie.

Next Sunday's feature is the Grade 3, $150,000 Chinese Cultural Centre Seagram Cup, a 1 1/16-mile race for 3-year-olds and upward. The race has lured just 11 nominees.

* Daily Racing Form handicappers Ron Gierkink and Dan Illman will host a one-hour seminar beginning at 11 a.m. on Saturday on the second floor of the grandstand. Illman will be at the Greenwood teletheatre on Sunday for a solo session, also scheduled for 11 a.m. to noon.