09/24/2003 11:00PM

International, Taylor preps no more


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - The Canadian International and the E.P. Taylor Stakes, both Grade 1 turf races and perennial highlights of the local fall season, have returned to their mid-October dates this year after being situated in late September as preps for the Breeders' Cup the past two seasons.

In fact, this year's Oct. 19 date for the $1.5 million Canadian International and the $750,000 E.P. Taylor puts the races in direct competition with the Oct. 25 Breeders' Cup card.

The change in dates apparently was a reaction to the size of the fields for the races last year. The International, a 1 1/2-mile race for 3-year-olds and upward, drew eight runners, while the Taylor, a 1 1/4-mile race for fillies and mares, attracted just six.

That this year's Breeders' Cup will be held at Santa Anita could turn out to be a plus for the Woodbine stakes, with the weather and condition of the turf course here being potentially more attractive to European shippers.

Woodbine has taken the additional step of initiating a $50,000 bonus for a trainer who runs horses in both the International and Taylor and earns the most points, based on a 10-6-4-2-1 scale for the top five finishers.

Thirteen trainers were represented by one or more nominees in both the International and Taylor when the lists were released Thursday by Woodbine.

Seven of the 13 are based in Europe, with those names including Saeed bin Suroor, Aidan O'Brien, Michael Stoute, Andre Fabre, John Hammond, Robert Collet, and Rodolphe Collet.

Five are in the United States: Neil Drysdale, Christophe Clement, Graham Motion, Todd Pletcher, and Elliott Walden.

Sid Attard is the only local trainer with horses nominated to both races.

A total of 53 horses were nominated to the International, while 52 were nominated to the Taylor. Supplementary nominations can be made for the International, up until the time of entry, at a cost of $60,000. The supplementary nomination fee for the Taylor is $15,000.

Sky Classic final International prep

The makeup of the fields should begin taking serious shape after this weekend's action.

Sunday's feature here, the Grade 2 Sky Classic Handicap over 1 3/8 miles on turf, is the final local prep for the International, and it attracted a field of six headed by Strut the Stage and Mobil.

Strut the Stage is one of five International nominees owned by Sam-Son Farm and trained by Mark Frostad. Those connections do not have a Taylor nominee.

Mobil is one of three International nominees owned by Gustav Schickedanz and trained by Mike Keogh. Mobil's stablemate Wando is on that list but is an unlikely participant.

* The Canadian International will have a sponsor this year: Pattison Outdoor, a major player in the Canadian advertising industry. The race had been without a sponsor since 1996 after Rothmans Ltd. International, a tobacco company, ended its 15-year arrangement.

Locals aiming for Taylor

The E.P. Taylor will boast strong local representation with Inish Glora, Heyahohowdy, and Diadella all slated to be in the lineup.

A 5-year-old owned by Bob Costigan and trained by Mac Benson, Inish Glora is heading into the Taylor off a smart score in the Grade 2 Canadian Handicap over 1 1/8 miles on turf here Sept. 14.

Inish Glora also won the Victoriana, a 1 1/16-mile turf race for Ontario-sired fillies and mares here Aug. 4, leaving Heyahohowdy in second place.

Heyahohowdy, a 4-year-old trained by Abraham Katryan, turned the tables on Inish Glora by winning the Belle Geste, a 1 1/8-mile turf race for Canadian-bred fillies and mares here Aug. 24.

Owned by the Kelynack Racing Stable of Glenn Harvey, Heyahohowdy doubled up two weeks later in the Flaming Page at 1 1/2 miles on turf.

Diadella, a 6-year-old owned by Stronach Stable and trained by Malcolm Pierce, is winless in three starts this year but could prove to be the most dangerous of the locals.

Although beaten 3 1/2 lengths by Inish Glora in the Canadian Cap, Diadella endured an unfavorable trip and could be peaking at an opportune time.

Analyst becomes racing manager

Steven Millar, the analyst on "Horseplay," the weekly television series backed by the local Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association, has signed on as racing manager for the R.M.C. Stable of Syd and Richard Cooper.

The Coopers have horses here with trainers Malcolm Pierce, Cliff Hopmans, and Keogh, and with Michaela Neubauer at Fort Erie.

The current star of the stable is Mister Coop, a stakes-placed winner of $265,609 who has been trained this year by Pierce.

Mister Coop, a 4-year-old gelding, is entered in Sunday's $78,500 fourth race, an open allowance scheduled for seven furlongs on turf. That event is to serve as his prep for the Bunty Lawless Stakes here on Oct. 18.

The $125,000 Bunty Lawless is a one-mile turf race for Ontario-sired 3-year-olds and upward.

Millar said the Coopers acquired two yearlings at the recent Keeneland sale, via agent Huntington Stud Ltd.

A colt by Kiridashi out of Hanto Yo, making him a full brother to local stakes winner Snake Pit, was acquired for $20,000, and a Langfuhr filly out of the Storm Cat mare Southern Cat was an $18,000 purchase.