05/27/2003 11:00PM

Hopefuls for Plate battle in allowance


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Queen's Plate nominees Awesome Action, Shoal Water, Into the Dawn, and I Testify are among the nine 3-year-olds entered in Friday's Woodbine feature, a 1 1/16-mile allowance worth $69,900.

Awesome Action, a son of 1997 Plate winner Awesome Again, has run several promising races for trainer Sue Leslie but has yet to cross the wire on top.

Awesome Action was placed first by disqualification in his fourth and final 2-year-old outing, in October. He returned from a winter break in a seven-furlong allowance April 12, earning a Beyer Speed Figure of 85 but finishing second to a sharp Dancin Joey.

Most recently, in the seven-furlong Queenston Stakes on May 3, Awesome Action tracked a slow pace before ending up in third, four lengths behind favored Wando.

Robert Landry retains the mount on Awesome Action, who is owned in part by Detroit Red Wings goaltender Curtis Joseph.

Shoal Water, trained by Mark Frostad for Sam-Son Farm, is making his first start since he won a 6 1/2-furlong maiden special weight event here Nov. 23.

In his debut, Shoal Water finished second over yielding turf in the Oct. 12 Cup and Saucer Stakes, giving the talented Mobil a run for his money. He finished up the track in his second start, the nine-furlong Coronation Futurity on Nov. 2.

Todd Kabel has the call. He won last Saturday's Connaught Cup Stakes aboard Fly Smartly, who, like Shoal Water, is a Sam-Son runner by Smart Strike.

Into the Dawn has a sprint-oriented pedigree and is making his first start around two turns. Trained by Bruce Smither, Into the Dawn finished fifth before galloping out well in his season opener against Ontario-sired allowance opposition.

I Testify, who easily won his maiden in his final 2-year-old race, has been competitive in all three of his starts this year. He was softened up in a front-end battle last time out, yet was only beaten about three lengths while earning fifth money. W.L. Clayton trains.

Rounding out the field for Friday's headliner will be Tracy's Tonka Toy, Treford, Kipper Chemo, Zalema, and A Rash Inski.

Late-running A Rash Inski, based at Fort Erie with trainer Josh Robillard, has won two of his three most recent outings, including a $62,500 claimer here May 11.

Kipper Chemo was a distant fourth against older $62,500 claimers in his latest, but he earned a competitive Beyer for this caliber of competition. He won his maiden Feb. 7 at Tampa for trainer John Simms.