07/02/2008 12:00AM

Knight's Cause shaky favorite at distance

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ETOBICOKE, Ontario – With the percentage of winning favorites at the Woodbine meeting hovering at a low 29 percent, it’s certainly not a bad idea to try to beat the chalk at every opportunity on the quirky Polytrack.

And just as 2-5 favorite True Metropolitan came up short in a four-horse race in Tuesday’s Dominion Day Stakes, Knight’s Cause is no cinch to get the job done in Friday’s eighth race, an Ontario-sired maiden special worth $66,000.

Knight’s Cause, a 4-year-old trained by Eric Coatrieux, wasn’t an impact player in the first two starts of his career, which came at the 2007 Gulfstream meeting. When returning from a one-year layoff at Keeneland in April, he came close to taking a 1 1/16-mile maiden special, ending up second while earning a lifetime-best 81 Beyer Figure.

Knight’s Cause was third behind next-out allowance winner Perfect Bullet and Silver Jag when favored in his local debut on May 11. He dropped from open maiden special weight company to Friday’s Ontario-sired level most recently, and looked like a winner until midstretch. The outsider Somarvelous ran him down in the final sixteenth.

Like last time, Knight’s Cause should be the heavy favorite Friday, with the aggressive Eurico Rosa Da Silva picking up the mount. His declining Beyer pattern suggests that he’s vulnerable at the 1 1/16-mile distance of Friday’s race.

Lincoln Fortyniner is an interesting first-time starter. The son of Compadre has posted 10 consecutive five-furlong workouts leading up the race, and many of them have been above average from a time perspective. His trainer, Norm McKnight, has sent out two first-timers in routes since the beginning of 2007, most notably Valid Squeeze, who graduated by 10 lengths at 10-1. Like Lincoln Fortyniner, Valid Squeeze is owned by J.M. Stritzl Stable.

Clarkstoncharm finished third in both of his outings in June, both at one turn. He possesses the pedigree of a sprinter, but could make some noise in his second try with Lasix.

Say No Evil outran Clarkstoncharm for second when he came off a lengthy absence June 18, but could bounce here.

Late-runner Witness to All wound up fifth in each of his two most recent races, and is a prospect for the bottom of exotic wagers.

Shanghai Knight is adding Lasix off a dull debut effort in a quick sprint. He possesses ample stamina in his pedigree, and his trainer has had some success with second-timers.