04/11/2007 11:00PM

'Judiths' seeks Cartier repeat


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Judiths Wild Rush, Canada's champion sprinter in each of the past two years, will try to win the $125,000 Jacques Cartier Stakes for the second straight year Saturday at Woodbine.

Judiths Wild Rush had a four-race winter campaign under the guidance of trainer Julian Canet. After ending up fifth in the Grade 3 Gravesend Handicap at Aqueduct, he captured the Jan. 13 Native Dancer Stakes by disqualification at Laurel. He never challenged in the Grade 2 General George BC Handicap in February, and is coming off a second-place finish in a two-turn optional claimer at Aqueduct.

Judiths Wild Rush usually tries to rally from a stalking position, a style that should work well in the six-furlong Jacques Cartier, which is full of speed. Todd Kabel will ride him for the first time.

Stradivinsky, a synthetic track specialist, figures to vie for the lead after breaking from the rail under Emma Wilson.

Stradivinsky won two seven-furlong optional claimers over the Polytrack here last year, with an average Beyer Speed Figure of 100. In his only Polytrack loss, which came in the nine-furlong Ontario Derby, he opened up a substantial lead before fading badly.

"The only time he ran poorly on the Polytrack is when I ran him two turns," trainer Malcolm Pierce said. "He had a bit of an excuse that day - he grabbed his quarter leaving the gate."

Stradivinsky got the winter off, and has worked bullets at Fair Grounds and Keeneland. Pierce also nominated him to Sunday's Grade 3 Shakertown at Keeneland, but said he opted for the Jacques Cartier in the hope of hooking an easier field.

"He should be in pretty good shape going one turn on the Polytrack at Woodbine," Pierce said. "Six furlongs should be fine for him. He might not get the lead as easily as he did going seven furlongs, but he's going to skip out of there, and I think I have him fairly fit. His last work at Keeneland was very good. I think he's come back as good as he was last fall."

Other contenders include Vibank, Are You Serious, L'Argent, and V S O P Please.

Vibank received only an 85 Beyer when he won the allowance prep for the Jacques Cartier in his second start off the sidelines.

Are You Serious rallied along the inside over a speed-favoring track to end up second in the prep.

L'Argent led throughout both of his allowance outings on the Polytrack last fall.

V S O P Please, unbeaten in three starts, is making his stakes debut off a 10-month layoff.