07/29/2007 11:00PM

Gouldings Green spoils rubber match


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Sunday's $150,000 Seagram Cup here at Woodbine was billed as a showdown between True Metropolitan and Palladio.

True Metropolitan was coming off a victory in the 1 1/4-mile Dominion Day, where Palladio finished third.

That finish was a reversal of their previous encounter, in which Palladio had won the 1 1/16-mile Eclipse with True Metropolitan taking home the show money.

True Metropolitan was the 4-5 favorite in the 1 1/16-mile Seagram, with Palladio next at 9-5.

But neither proved to be any match for invader Gouldings Green, who mowed down Palladio after he had made his patented move. True Metropolitan finished a well-beaten fourth after getting caught up in a quick early pace.

Gouldings Green, who is based at Saratoga with Tony Reinstedler, had shipped in to win last year's Grade 3 Seagram Cup, which was run over the resurfaced seven-furlong Standardbred oval that was in use while Polytrack was being installed.

"I've had this race on this horse's schedule since last year," said Reinstedler, who watched Gouldings Green's victory from Saratoga. "I think it's just the perfect fit for him."

Gouldings Green, a Kentucky-bred 6-year-old horse, has raced just twice since finishing fourth in his second visit here for last fall's 1 1/8-mile Durham Cup.

After opening up his 2007 campaign with a third-place finish in Arlington's Grade 3 Hanshin at one mile on May 26, Gouldings Green ran last of six as the favorite in an optional claiming race there at seven furlongs on June 16.

"We ran into a little bit of an obstacle with some lung infection after his last start," said Reinstedler. "He's really trained well since we got into Saratoga. It's not a very long ship up there, and he seems to like the Poly, so it worked out well for him."

Reinstedler will consider his options with Gouldings Green, and a return to Woodbine is among them.

"He seems to like Woodbine, and it's pretty obvious that we'd like to come back again," said Reinstedler.

Patrick Husbands, who picked up the mount on Gouldings Green, was recording his meet-leading 12th stakes winner after also piloting Sealy Hill to victory for trainer Mark Casse in Saturday's Wonder Where.

Gouldings Green's owner is Eugene Melnyk, the owner and breeder of Sealy Hill.

Sealy Hill finds new home on turf

Sealy Hill affirmed her divisional dominance in the $251,600 Wonder Where, a 1 1/4-mile turf race that is the final leg of the triple tiara for Canadian-bred 3-year-old fillies.

After winning the 1 1/8-mile Woodbine Oaks, the first leg of the series on June 10, Sealy Hill had come back to finish first in the 1 1/16-mile Bison City here July 1 but was disqualified and placed third after lugging in during the stretch run. That decision has been appealed to the Ontario Racing Commission.

The Wonder Where marked Sealy Hill's first appearance on turf, but her performance suggested that she is equally effective on that medium.

"I know there's so many things that can go wrong, and I never get overly confident, but I was just so confident in her," said Casse. "She was only one second off the track record. For a 3-year-old filly to do that is quite nice."

Casse's next target for Sealy Hill is the Grade 2, $300,000 Canadian, a 1o1/8-mile turf race here Sept. 16 in which she would face older fillies and mares.

Future considerations for Sealy Hill include the Grade 1, $600,000 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup, a 1 1/8-mile turf race for 3-year-old fillies at Keeneland on Oct. 13, and the Grade 1, $1 million E.P. Taylor, a 1o1/4-mile turf race for fillies and mares here Oct. 21.

Marchfield appears fond of grass

Casse, the leading stakes winner at the meet with seven victories, and Husbands will be looking to add to their totals in two stakes here Sunday.

Their candidates will be Marchfield in the $500,000 Breeders' and Arch Hall in the $125,000 Shepperton.

Marchfield, also owned and bred by Melynk, will be making his turf debut in the Breeders', a 1 1/2-mile race that is the final leg of the Triple Crown for Canadian-bred 3-year-olds.

Casse gave the green light to Marchfield after watching him breeze on the main turf course here Sunday.

"If we didn't think he cared for the turf, we were going to send him home, give him a break," said Casse.

Arch Hall, a 6-year-old Melnyk homebred, is slated to make his seasonal debut in the Shepperton, a 6o1/2-furlong race for Ontario-sired 3-year-olds and upward.

Casse had been looking to start Arch Hall in the Seagram Cup, but nixed that plan when Gouldings Green shipped in.

"He's just doing tremendous," Casse said of Arch Hall. "I think he looks great, and is training well. That being said, 6 1/2 furlongs is not his game."

Officer in Pursuit eyes Duchess

The Casse stable recently gained one stakes winner in Officer in Pursuit while losing another in Silky Smooth.

Officer in Pursuit has won a pair of minor stakes in New York this year. The $150,000 Duchess, a seven-furlong race for 3-year-old fillies here Aug. 11, is Officer in Pursuit's first local target.

Silky Smooth was sold last week and made her last start for Casse when finishing fifth in the Grade 3 Lake George at 1 1/16 miles on turf at Saratoga on Friday.

A Kentucky-bred 3-year-old filly, Silky Smooth had won the Alywow at 6 1/2 furlongs on turf here June 10 for Bill Farish Jr.'s Woodford Racing.

Now owned by the Gaillardia Stable of Ed Gaylord, Silky Smooth returned here following the Lake George but soon will be heading for California.