05/28/2002 11:00PM

Lucky Tec gets extra furlong


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Lucky Tec finished second to Leavethestudio in his last start, but could turn the tables in Friday's ninth race at Woodbine.

A field of six was drawn for the $62,500 optional claimer, which will be contested at seven furlongs for a purse of $67,600.

Lucky Tec, a 4-year-old, displayed promise early in his career, but hadn't raced for just over a year heading into his 2002 debut in a preliminary allowance. The favorite, Very Professional, enjoyed an uncontested lead in that six-furlong dash, but Lucky Tec collared him in the final strides to prevail by a head.

Lucky Tec was away slowly most recently in a six-furlong race at this level on May 15, and he trailed in the five-horse field heading into the turn. He made up about four lengths in the stretch, but ended up a length short of Leavethestudio, who ran the distance in 1:11.20.

Lucky Tec, who has a win and a second in two starts at seven-eighths, is in fine fettle, according to trainer John Ross.

"He's gradually coming to himself," said Ross. "I think the seven furlongs will be better. It's a perfect distance for him."

Leavethestudio benefited from an ideal stalking trip behind a three-horse speed duel in the May 15 race. He was sent up the rail midway on the turn by jockey Kelly Mackay and then opened up a 2 1/2-length cushion at the eighth pole before coasting home.

Leavethestudio also won his first start of the year, in a five-furlong allowance April 7, and subsequently finished third in an optional claimer won by Sambuca on Ice, who went on to capture the New Providence Stakes.

MacKay retains the mount on 4-year-old Leavethestudio, who is trained by Red Johnson.

Rounding out the ninth-race lineup are Everyday Hero, Us, Bold Major, and Line of Defense.

Line of Defense rallied along the rail from 14 lengths back to win a $62,500 optional claimer going away on May 5. A 5-year-old gelding, Line of Defense has yet to miss a check in seven starts for trainer Scott Fairlie, but he might have to cope with a moderate pace in this situation.

Bold Major, a durable veteran with $260,711 in the bank, is making his second start off an eight-month layoff. He faced an accomplished group of $50,000 claimers in his opener and finished 2 1/4 lengths back in fourth.

Us, a fading fifth in both of his starts at this stand, could have the early lead to himself.

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