08/23/2005 11:00PM

Honolua Storm in tough allowance

Email

ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Honolua Storm, a bang-up second in the Grade 3 Seagram Cup here July 30, heads a field of five stakes-caliber horses in an intriguing allowance feature on Friday's program. The allowance is worth $87,900 and will be run over 1 1/16 miles.

Honolua Storm closed from just off the pace in the 1 1/16-mile Seagram, but fell three-quarter lengths shy of catching the mare One for Rose.

"I thought he ran a good race," said trainer Roger Attfield, who also sent out Honolua Storm to win the Grade 3 Eclipse over 1 1/16 miles in May. "He's doing very well right now. I really needed to race him."

Wake at Noon, who finished fourth at almost 30-1 in the Seagram, again looks like the speed of the party

"I expect a big race out of him," said trainer Abraham Katryan. "I think he's just coming back to himself right now."

Cryptograph, an interesting addition to the local older male division, joined trainer Malcolm Pierce here a couple of weeks ago and looms a late-running threat. Owned by Pin Oak Stable, Cryptograph has placed in Grade 3 stakes at Lone Star and Remington and is coming off a seventh-place finish in Arlington's Grade 2 Washington Park Handicap, in which he was uncharacteristically close to the lead early.

Pierce sent Cryptograph to work four furlongs in 47 seconds here last Sunday.

"There was no place for him to run, so he came up here with the objective of getting him to the Durham Cup and maybe the Woodbine Slots Cup," said Pierce.

The Durham Cup, a 1 1/8-mile race, will be run here Oct. 15, and the Woodbine Slots, a 1 1/16-mile race, will be run Nov. 19. Both are Grade 3, $150,000 races for 3-year-olds and up.

Rounding out the field for Friday's headliner are Sky Diamond and Alleged Ruler, each of whom is capable of winning on his best effort.

Vanderlin works for Play the King

Vanderlin, who checked in from England late last week, worked five furlongs in 1:02.80 on the main track here Wednesday and will be making his North American debut in Saturday's Grade 2, $230,800 Play the King Stakes.

A seven-furlong turf race, the Play the King is the major local prep for the Grade 1, $1 million Atto Mile here Sept. 18.

Vanderlin, who was a listed stakes winner in 2003 and finished second in Group 3 company last fall, would appear to be in tough in the Play the King, which attracted a field of 13. His connections, however, merit the utmost respect. Trainer Andrew Balding and jockey Martin Dwyer were in town last month to win the Wonder Where with the maiden Silver Highlight and finished a close second in the Grade 3 Royal North with Saint Etienne.

Both Silver Highlight and Saint Etienne were first-time Lasix users, and Vanderlin will use Lasix for the first time Saturday, as well.

"If he runs well enough, he'll stay for the Atto Mile," said exercise rider Leanne Masterton, who also was here with Silver Highlight and Saint Etienne.

Vanderlin was accompanied by Bourgainville, who is nominated to the Sept. 5 Niagara Handicap but could run in an easier spot.

In his most recent start, which came in England on Aug. 11, Bourgainville scored his first victory since May 2002, in a 1 1/8-mile turf race.

Out From Africa to Canadian Derby

Out From Africa, owned by Huntington Stud Farm and trained here by John Ross, arrived in Edmonton on Tuesday evening and has been entered in Saturday's Grade 3, $300,000 Canadian Derby at Northlands Park. The race will be simulcast here, with post time set for 6:45 p.m.

The Canadian Derby, at 1 3/8 miles, will be Out From Africa's longest trip to date. Ross pointed out, however, that Out From Africa was beaten just a length when fourth in Fort Erie's 1 3/16-mile Prince of Wales and was only a head behind third-place Wild Desert, winner of the Queen's Plate.

"Put in that perspective, you have to feel he's going to be all right at this distance," said Ross.

Jake Barton, who now is based in Vancouver after riding in Ontario for several years, has picked up the mount on Out From Africa, who will break from post 5 in a field of 11.

Barton piloted Brattothecore, who is a half-sister to Out From Africa, when that filly finished in a dead heat for first in the 2003 Labatt Bison City at Fort Erie.

Marco Be Good in winning form

Ross said he plans to be back here Sunday to send out Marco Be Good for the $125,000 Vice Regent. The Vice Regent, a one-mile race for Ontario-sired 3-year-olds and up, would be Marco Be Good's second race on turf.

Marco Be Good finished fifth, beaten 2 3/4 lengths over yielding going, in the six-furlong Bold Ruckus here June 15. The Bold Ruckus, also for Ontario-sired 3-year-olds, evolved into a key race, and Marco Be Good has won both his starts in the interim: After winning his maiden over 6 1/2 furlongs here July 14, Marco Be Good was a convincing winner of a first-level allowance over a mile and 70 yards on July 27, which originally had been scheduled for turf.

Marco Be Good has worked twice since that victory, including a five-furlong work in 1:02.30 over a soft turf training course here Aug. 14.

"He's a happy little horse right now," said Ross.