06/17/2002 11:00PM

Fresh horse ready to fire


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - When Ford Every Stream surfaced with an impressive victory in a prep for the Marine Stakes at Woodbine on May 3, many felt they had just been introduced to Sam-Son Farm's third straight Queen's Plate winner.

But some doubts have arisen in the interim as Ford Every Stream finished third as the odds-on choice in the May 18 Marine and his trainer, Mark Frostad, said the colt would bypass the 1 1/8-mile Plate Trial here June 1 and head straight to Sunday's $1 million Plate.

Besides the five weeks between the races, there was the additional matter of the stretch-out from the Marine's 1 1/16 miles to the Plate's 1 1/4 miles.

Frostad, however, does not see the time and distance factors as significant hurdles for Ford Every Stream, who had made his first lifetime start a winning one over seven furlongs at Keeneland on April 11.

"I gave him a lot to do in short order," said Frostad, who won the 2000 Plate with the maiden Scatter the Gold, and last year's running with the filly Dancethruthedawn. "He had three starts real close together. I had to do that to get him ready, I thought."

Frostad believes the accelerated program caught up with Ford Every Stream in the Marine, where he finished behind the Queen's Plate contender Anglian Prince and the Kentucky-bred Tails of the Crypt.

Anglian Prince came back to finish a close third in the Plate Trial, while Tails of the Crypt romped in the open Victoria Park.

"There's no question he bounced," said Frostad, "but he was only beaten 2 3/4 lengths. And Tails of the Crypt beat him by only a length, and he came back and was pretty impressive.

"I think there'll be a lot more people concerned abut going a mile and a quarter than we will be," continued Frostad. "He's nice and fresh - I think he's ready for a monster step up."

Only one horse has gone straight from the Marine to the Plate and emerged victorious. Victor Cooley, owned by Windways Farm, won both races in 1996 for his trainer, who was none other than Frostad.

Crossing his fingers

Sam-Son and Frostad plan to have two entrants in the Plate, with Mountain Beacon also set to participate.

Mountain Beacon was tabbed as a Plate prospect after winning his maiden in his second career start, which came at 1 1/8 miles at Keeneland on April 19.

But he has faltered badly in two subsequent tries here at Woodbine, ending sixth in a first-level allowance at 1 1/16 miles and ninth in the Plate Trial.

"He hasn't run like he's trained," said Frostad. "He's come back with some mucus the last couple of times, but hopefully we've cleared it up. He scoped clean after his work Monday, for the first time in a long time.

"But, having said that, I still expected him to perform better than he has. Quite frankly, it's been a bit of a baffler."

So while Frostad is inclined to give Mountain Beacon the benefit of the doubt, he is hardly brimming with confidence.

"Really, we're just taking a shot," said the trainer. "There's no question about it. Hopefully, we'll see a good performance."

Those who fancy Mountain Beacon will be looking at a much higher than usual price on a Sam-Son Plate starter, since he and Ford Every Stream will run as separate interests. The historic uncoupling falls under a rule introduced this year by the Ontario Racing Commission, which eliminates entries in all Thoroughbred races with purses of at least $1 million.

Adjalah eligible to improve

Adjalah had his final Plate tune-up on a fast main track Tuesday, breezing five furlongs in 1:00.80. With rider Richard Dos Ramos in the irons, Adjalah was timed in 35.60 seconds for his first three furlongs and galloped out six furlongs in 1:15.

"He was nice and relaxed and happy, going by himself," said David Bell, who trains Adjalah for the Beclawat Stable of Les Pereira.

Adjalah heads into the Plate off a fifth-place finish in the Trial, where he was beaten five lengths.

"He should improve big time off that race - that's my thinking," said Bell. "He'll be off the pace, and hopefully he'll be a little more relaxed than he was last time."

Fuzzy Star ships from Delaware

The Plate field gained a 14th candidate Tuesday with the news that Fuzzy Star, who is at Delaware Park with trainer Mike Petro, is slated to arrive Friday afternoon.

Owned by Petro under the nom-de-course Coming Home Stable and to be ridden by his brother Nick, Fuzzy Star finished a closing fifth in the seven-furlong Queenston May 4, his only start here.

"I thought he ran a real good race there," said Petro, from his Delaware base. "The seven-eighths was too short for him, but he made a nice run and he seemed to like the track."

Since the Queenston, Fuzzy Star has run fifth in Delaware's mile and 70-yard Francis LaBelle Memorial and a distant third in second-level allowance at 1 1/16 miles.

"The one time he got in a little bit of trouble, and his last time he ran third against some nice company," said Petro.

Fuzzy Star, a two-time winner at Delaware last October, was supplemented to the Plate for $15,000 at the final nominations stage.

Works say 'Phantom' is ready

Phantom Light and No Bounds, both eligible to the Queen's Plate, will meet in Thursday's fourth race, a 1 1/16-mile maiden special weight race worth $66,700.

Phantom Light, trained by Roger Attfield, is making his first start of the year. He ran just twice as a 2-year-old, with his best result being a second-place finish in a 1 1/16-mile race in November.

Phantom Light has worked bullets on dirt and turf at Keeneland and over the local training track, and should be sufficiently cranked up to acquit himself well.

Robert Landry will ride Phantom Light, who is coupled in the Stronach Stable entry with Wild Zampano, a Reade Baker-trained first-time starter.

No Bounds, trained by David Bell, has shown some ability in the mornings but has yet to be effective in competition, and is adding blinkers.

Notorious Native, the lone 4-year-old in the seven-horse field, should be well backed off his recent second-place finish to Questing Knight in an Ontario-sired maiden special.

* Classic Ingrid and Marjorie Daw, both stakes-placed 4-year-olds, are the main contenders in Thursday's $69,900 feature, a one-mile allowance on turf for fillies and mares.

* At Thursday's Plate draw, a two-part process, connections of the entrants will draw to determine the order of selection and then choose their own post positions.

- additional reporting by Ron Gierkink


Queen's Plate, $1 million, 1 1/4 miles, Sunday, June 23

AdjalahD BellR Dos Ramos
Anglian PrinceM HardyJ McAleney
Barbeau RuckusR ArmataD Luciani
BravelyC Day-PhillipsC Montpellier
Classic MikeR BakerJ Jones
Cree PowerM DoyleE Ramsammy
Ford Every StreamM FrostadT Kabel
Forever GrandR TillerP Husbands
Fuzzy StarM PetroN Petro
Mountain BeaconM FrostadR Landry
Shaws CreekJ RossJ Barton
Streakin RobJ DayC Sutherland
T J's Lucky MoonV ArmataS Bahen
Twice BidR AttfieldM Walls