07/11/2005 11:00PM

Jambalaya awakens by trying turf


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Jambalaya will prep for a possible start in the Aug. 7 Breeders' Stakes, the third leg of the Canadian Triple Crown, in Thursday's Woodbine feature, a 1 3/8-mile preliminary allowance on the grass.

Jambalaya was beaten by more than 10 lengths in both of his main track outings early in the meeting, but found new life in his first turf attempt at 1 1/16 miles on June 12. After an outside stalking trip, he won his maiden by daylight that day, earning a respectable 84 Beyer Speed Figure.

Jambalaya has since breezed five-eighths twice, over the turf training course in 1:00 on July 3, and on the main track in 1:01.20 on July 9.

Jambalaya is coupled in a Catherine Day Phillips-trained entry with House of Magic, another Ontario-foaled 3-year-old.

House of Magic also struggled on the main track before finding his calling on the grass. He won his first start of the season with a strong closing kick at 25-1 in a seven-furlong maiden special on the grass. Last time out in the one-mile Charlie Barley Handicap, he finished a non-threatening fifth.

Jockey Jono Jones was named on both Jambalaya and House of Magic. He teamed up with Day Phillips to capture last year's Breeders' with A Bit O'Gold.

Among the others entered in the eighth and final race on Thursday's card are Mr. J.T.L., Pleasant Hall, and Utmost Respect.

Mr. J.T.L. hasn't accomplished much since finishing second in the Grade 3 Transylvania Stakes in April 2004 at Keeneland. He possesses some positive experience over extended distances, however, having won a 1 1/2-mile marathon for $32,000 claimers in March at Gulfstream.

Most recently going 1 1/2 miles here in the Singspiel Stakes, Mr. J.T.L. finished four lengths back in seventh in a competitive field. Robert Landry, who was aboard for that Gulfstream win, has the call for trainer Roger Attfield.

Pleasant Hall is coming off a front-running victory over $12,000 starter allowance types at Fort Erie for trainer Michaela Neubauer, who claimed him for a bargain $10,000 here last fall. He has never run this far on the grass, but could be a speed threat with Steven Bahen picking up the mount.

Utmost Respect wound up sixth in the June 26 Charlie Barley, after trying to mount a wide rally. He won his maiden in his initial grass start May 23, and subsequently ran second in a second-level allowance for 3-year-olds. Apprentice Corey Fraser takes over for trainer Barb Minshall. As a team, they are 3 for 6 at the meeting.