07/24/2008 11:00PM

Lady d'Wildcat finds her spot


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - When Wednesday night's $125,000 Passing Mood was moved from grass to the main track due to a soggy turf course, trainer Steve Roberts exercised his option.

It was on to the $250,000 Wonder Where for Lady d'Wildcat, the

3-year-old filly whom Roberts trains for the Shyman Stable of Stuart Hyman.

"Until they took the Passing Mood off, I really wasn't certain which way to go," said Roberts, who had entered Lady d'Wildcat in the Passing Mood last Sunday and learned of the switch in surfaces Wednesday morning following heavy overnight rains with more in the forecast. "Then, it was an easy decision. I called the owner and he said, 'Let's go for the big money.'"

Lady d'Wildcat, a homebred, won her turf debut at one mile here under rider David Clark in her last start June 25, which came in a second-level allowance race for a Ontario-sired 3-year-old fillies.

Roberts, who always had the Wonder Where in the back of his mind, entered Lady d'Wildcat in the seven-furlong Passing Mood but wanted to see how the race would shape up.

And while Roberts did not particularly like the competition, with such talented fillies as Authenicat and Anne's Purse in the lineup, the prospect of the Jammed Lovely being run on soft turf kept Lady d'Wildcat on the bubble.

"I thought she might have had a chance at running down the speed on soft turf," said Roberts.

After watching Authenicat romp in the Passing Mood, Roberts was even more certain that he had made the right call.

Meanwhile, while there is a likelihood of soft turf for the Wonder Where, and while Lady d'Wildcat is unproven at the 1 1/4-mile distance, the same can be said for her opponents.

"I think she'll handle it," said Roberts. "She handled a mile well and she galloped out strong.

"I think she'll be sitting just off the pace, and when horses come up behind her she just keeps going.

"She's just itching to do something right now. She's training like a bear."

Clark, who had the call on Miss Juicey for the Jammed Lovely, was aboard Lady d'Wildcat for her 1:00.20 breeze here last Friday and will be back in the irons for the Wonder Where.

Shillelagh Slew switches to Poly

Shillelagh Slew, who has struggled since winning the 1 1/8-mile Ontario Derby in the final start of his Sovereign Award-winning

3-year-old campaign in 2006, will try Polytrack for the first time this year in Sunday's 1 1/16-mile Seagram Cup.

Shillelagh Slew, 5, made just four stats last year in a problem-plagued campaign, and has raced twice this year in turf stakes.

"There's nowhere else to run him," said Mike DePaulo, who conditions Shillelagh Slew for owner David James. "I've got to get a race into him and see what happens."

Shillelagh Slew finished sixth of 11 in the Grade 3 Connaught Cup over 1 1/16 miles, and in his next outing, the 1o1/2-mile Singspiel, Shillelagh Slew finished 10th in the field of 12.

"He came out of the race with a swollen right hock," said DePaulo. "It's still not perfect, but he's sound on it. Hopefully, he'll be perfect race day."

New backstretch facility opens

A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held Wednesday for the Jake Howard Centre, which will be a new home for Racetrack Chaplaincy of Canada services, employee assistance programs, and Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.

Located in the stable area, the facility also includes computers and a library and is named in honor of the late Jake Howard, a former chairman of the board of Woodbine Entertainment.

Chinese celebration Sunday

The Seagram Cup will be presented by the Chinese Cultural Centre and is the centerpiece of Chinese Cultural Day here.

Activities and entertainment will run throughout the day in a Chinese village set up on the fourth floor.