04/29/2010 11:00PM

Forever Awesome tries Poly


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - The Queen's Plate-nominated 3-year-olds Forever Awesome and Big Red Mike are among a field of nine in the featured eighth race Sunday at Woodbine, a first-level allowance over a mile and 70 yards.

Forever Awesome has made all four of his starts on the grass. He graduated first time out in September at Delaware and subsequently finished far behind future Canadian champion 2-year-old Hollinger when ninth here in the Cup and Saucer Stakes.

Forever Awesome wasn't an impact player in either of his winter races, both in allowance company at Gulfstream. He was beaten less than five lengths in his last start March 7. The fifth horse from that race, Stately Victor, returned to take the Grade 1 Blue Grass Stakes at 40-1.

Formerly trained by Todd Pletcher, Forever Awesome has a new trainer, Sean Smullen, who oversees the majority of the Stronach Stable runners at Woodbine. Jim McAleney has the mount.

Big Red Mike, trained by Nick Gonzalez for Terra Racing Stable, was a fast-closing second when he debuted Nov. 21. Two weeks later, he graduated with relative ease after pressing the pace in a seven-furlong maiden special and was awarded a 77 Beyer Speed Figure.

After getting the winter off, Big Red Mike was made the favorite in a seven-furlong allowance April 11. He dueled through slow fractions before finishing a close second while bobbling on the wire, seemingly from a shadow on the track.

Big Red Mike, a son of Tenpins, is bred to handle middle distances on both sides of his pedigree. His half-brother Classic Mike was second in the nine-furlong Plate Trial Stakes, before ending up eighth in the Plate.

Expect Big Red Mike to attend the pace, which could be set by Waldheim, who hasn't started since he led throughout a 1 1/16-mile maiden special Dec. 3. Waldheim made a habit of finishing second last year, regardless of the distance.

Captain Carlos seems poised for a strong showing. He crushed $25,000 maidens second time out at 2, before ending up a respectable fourth in the 1 1/16-mile Display Stakes. In his season opener going five furlongs, he wound up third over a distance that is shorter than he prefers.

Gold Medallion set a dawdling pace last time before fading to third in a nine-furlong allowance at Keeneland. He is shedding the blinkers, a 25 percent angle for trainer Steve Klesaris during the past five years.