06/17/2010 12:00AM

Madman Diaries leads pack of U.S. invaders


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Track record-holder Madman Diaries is one of four American shippers in the first 2-year-old stakes of the Woodbine meet, the $150,000 Victoria, a five-furlong dash that heads an excellent 10-race card on Saturday.

Madman Diaries was a close second when he debuted April 8 at Keeneland in a 4 1/2-furlong maiden special. His owner/trainer, Wesley Ward, felt that the homebred was his own worst enemy then.

"He probably should have won that day," Ward recalled. "He was a little green. From his first race to his race at Woodbine, there was a big improvement."

Madman Diaries shipped here May 9 for a 4 1/2-furlong maiden special, in which he led throughout to score by 9 3/4 lengths. His time of 51.13 seconds was a Polytrack record, and he was awarded a Beyer Speed Figure of 73.

"He's blossomed since that win," said Ward. "He's been growing by leaps and bounds. He's just getting bigger and stronger. He's really coming along mentally."

Ward had contemplated sending Madman Diaries to the prestigious Royal Ascot meet this week in England, but ultimately sent just Metropolitan Man, who was unplaced Tuesday in the Windsor Castle Stakes.

"I had a contingent going to Royal Ascot," Ward explained, noting that he had enlisted jockey Alex Solis to breeze all of them, "and gave him the option of going over to England if he wanted to ride them. Of all the horses that he worked, this guy was his favorite.

"I didn't get the opportunity to breeze him on the grass to see if he liked it or not, so I didn't want to go all the way over there when Woodbine has this fantastic race, on a track that he ran a wonderful race over."

Affluence and Firepole finished first and third in the $50,700 Par Four Stakes May 22 at Delaware.

Affluence, trained by Ron Potts Jr., won both his races on the lead. He took the 4 1/2-furlong Par Four by six lengths, earning an Beyer Figure of 80.

Firepole defeated Madman Diaries when he graduated first time out at Keeneland for trainer George Weaver.