05/12/2010 11:00PM

Hollinger fit enough to fire fresh


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Reigning Canadian champion 2-year-old Hollinger, the Queen's Plate winterbook favorite, will began his march toward the July 4 Plate on Saturday at Woodbine in the $150,000 Queenston Stakes.

Hollinger showed lots of determination while capturing all four of his 2-year-old outings. He won the Cup and Saucer Stakes on turf with a powerful rally, and overcame a troubled trip to take the Coronation Futurity on Polytrack.

Trainer Roger Attfield said the Coronation "was a tight race, and he showed a lot of heart. He overcame it, and that's what good horses do."

Hollinger has been idle since the Nov. 8 Coronation. He was working at Keeneland in April prior to posting two rapid six-furlong breezes here April 30 and May 7.

"Off his works, he's more than ready, I would think," said Attfield. "Through Keeneland, and since we got back here, he's been training up a storm. I couldn't be happier with him. He spent some time in Ocala, and was a little bit behind when he came to me. I really wanted to run him at Keeneland, but he just wasn't ready then. He's in wonderful shape right now."

Trainer Ian Black entered D's Wando and Stormy Lord in the seven-furlong Queenston, which attracted six Ontario-bred 3-year-olds.

D's Wando was a closing third in the nine-furlong Coronation. He rallied along the rail to finish second in his season opener in the Woodstock Stakes, earning a 92 Beyer Figure.

Black said D's Wando exceeded his expectations in the six-furlong Woodstock.

"I thought he'd run well, and was hoping that he'd close some ground, but he ran huge," Black said. "You're always concerned that when they run a race like that first time out that they'll regress a little, but he's trained back fine."

Stormy Lord hasn't started since his front-running second-place finish in the Coronation. Black said an allowance race for him April 25 failed to fill.

Essence Hit Man set fast fractions in the Woodstock and kept on going to prevail with a 94 Beyer. He should be the pacemaker, with Stormy Lord racing in close proximity.

Fastin Bear rallied stoutly on his left lead to capture the five-furlong allowance prep for the Woodstock in his first appearance in seven months.