06/06/2004 11:00PM

Forever Grand in for a tag again


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Several of the most successful sprinters at Woodbine, including near-champion Forever Grand, are among the seven entrants in Wednesday's feature at Woodbine, an $80,000 optional claimer for 3-year-olds and up.

Forever Grand was the Sovereign Award runner-up in two categories last year - champion older horse and champion sprinter. He won four stakes in 10 starts in 2003, but what a difference a year makes.

Forever Grand launched his current campaign with a dull fifth-place finish April 17 in the Jacques Cartier Stakes. He was the talk of the backstretch when he was surprisingly dropped into a $62,500 claimer May 28. But his trainer, Bob Tiller, was obviously taking an edge, as Forever Grand won comfortably while picking up a 93 Beyer Figure.

Forever Grand will run with an $80,000 tag on Wednesday, and should be favored under leading rider Todd Kabel.

Rounding out the field for the six-furlong dash are The King N Rob, San Diego Blowout, Wild Whiskey, Choreography, High Blitz, and Dillinger.

Wild Whiskey, a rapid 5-year-old trained by John Ross, captured the Woodstock Stakes at 3 and has been stakes placed several times in the interim. He finished behind Forever Grand in three consecutive stakes last year, but hasn't won since an allowance victory last June.

Wild Whiskey rallied wide to end up a close second to Rare Friends in his season opener, a five-furlong allowance. Most recently, he got bogged down running on a dead rail after showing speed in the restricted New Providence Stakes, and finished eighth.

Wild Whiskey will compete with a selling price for the first time in his career on Wednesday. David Clark, who has won with four of his 11 mounts for Ross at the meeting, has the call.

San Diego Blowout, the lone 3-year-old in the lineup, won the six-furlong Colin Stakes early in his juvenile campaign. He was a flat fourth as the favorite when he came off the sidelines April 24 in the six-furlong Woodstock, and is coming off a confidence-boosting triumph in a $25,000 optional claimer.

The King N Rob defeated Choreography when he won a recent second-level allowance. He is strictly a need-to-lead type, and figures to hook up with San Diego Blowout on the front end in what could be a suicidal pace battle.

Choreography narrowly lost the New Providence to Barbeau Ruckus two starts back. He has been second in each of his last three outings.