04/24/2003 11:00PM

Majestic Wisdom breaks down in work


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Majestic Wisdom, who had thrust himself into the Queen's Plate picture by upsetting Wando in the March 30 Achievement Handicap, suffered a career-ending injury during a workout here Friday morning.

"He fractured his front left sesamoid, and the suspensory apparatus is torn away," said trainer Chantal Paquette. "I don't think at this point it's life-threatening, but the next few days will tell."

Majestic Wisdom, with jockey Constant Montpellier in the irons, was working in company with stablemate Belle de Naskra, who had Paquette aboard.

"He went by me like it was nothing, at the seven-eighths pole," said Paquette. "Then Constant pulled him up, right at the wire."

Veterinarian Darryl Bonder was summoned, Majestic Wisdom was removed from the track by horse ambulance, and X-rays were immediately taken.

"We did everything we could," said Paquette.

Majestic Wisdom, an Ontario-bred by Whisky Wisdom, is owned by Majestic Thoroughbreds, the nom-du-course of the trainer's father, Bruce Paquette.

Majestic Wisdom's victory in the Achievement, in which he defeated Queen's Plate winter-book favorite Wando by a neck, was his first in a stakes and brought his career record to 2 wins, 5 in-the-money finishes, and earnings of $173,809 from 8 starts.

Benson has promising pair

Trainer Mac Benson had an uneventful off-season in Florida, seldom straying far from his base at Payson Park.

"It was a quiet, calm winter," said Benson. "I didn't run a horse."

Benson certainly was doing more than enjoying the weather, however, as his tasks included laying the foundations for Quiet Dare, one of the leading candidates for the Queen's Plate, and Mountain Dawn, a solid prospect for the Labatt Woodbine Oaks.

Both horses are slated to take their first serious steps on their respective quests here next weekend, with Quiet Dare to make his seasonal bow in Saturday's Queenston and Mountain Dawn seeking her second win in as many starts this year in Sunday's Fury.

The Queenston and Fury are both $150,000, seven-furlong races for Canadian-bred 3-year-olds and should provide meaningful insights into the Plate and Oaks pictures. The 1 1/4-mile Queen's Plate will be run June 22, the 1 1/8-mile Labatt Woodbine Oaks June 8.

Quiet Dare, owned and bred by the Augustin Stable of George Strawbridge Jr., did not debut until Oct. 12, when he was beaten a neck as the second-place finisher in a five-furlong race. He came back to win his maiden by a neck at six furlongs, then romped to a 6 1/2-length score in the 6 1/2-furlong Sunny's Halo Stakes here Nov. 20.

Benson had entered Quiet Dare in a six-furlong allowance race here April 18, but after that race failed to fill he sent out the colt to drill seven furlongs Monday, which he covered in 1:27.20.

"I would have used that race as a prep for the Queenston," said Benson, "but he's doing great. He's been training forwardly; I'm very pleased with the way he's training."

"We're going for one race, and that's the Queen's Plate. Maybe he won't go that far, maybe he won't make it. But certainly, that's what you've got to be thinking about.

"The Queenston will be a nice race for him. I'm certainly looking for him to run well, but it's not a do-or-die thing. I'll still have time to get two more races into him; I like the idea of getting three races into a horse before the Plate or the Oaks."

There are three major Plate preps following the Queenston: the 1 1/16-mile Marine May 17, the 1 1/8-mile Plate Trial May 31, and the 1 1/8-mile Victoria Park June 8.

Mountain Dawn, owned by Mike Ambler and partners, began her 2003 campaign by winning a first-level allowance over seven furlongs here April 13.

"She ran the race we thought she should run," said Benson. "It wasn't an exceptionally fast race, but I was very pleased with the way our filly acted. Hopefully, we'll use it as a building block to bigger and better things.

"She'll go to the Fury, then I'll make up my mind where I have to go from there."

Unlike Quiet Dare, Mountain Dawn ran around two turns last year. The filly tried 1 1/16 miles in the last two appearances of her six-start campaign, finishing third in the Grade 1 Mazarine, won by subsequent divisional champion Brusque, and second in the Princess Elizabeth.

The final local stakes prep for the Oaks is the Grade 1 Selene, at 1 1/16 miles here May 19.

Woodbine focus of documentary

"At the Post," an eight-part documentary series focusing on the Thoroughbred horseracing scene at Woodbine, will air at 7 p.m. Saturdays on Life Network, beginning May 3.

Life Network, a cable channel, is available across Canada.

The half-hour shows center on the 2002 meeting. Some of the subjects will include trainers Bob Tiller, Jim Day, and Catherine Day Phillips; jockeys Chantal Sutherland and Raymond Raghunath; and professional gambler Shelly Silver, who is referred to as "Woodbine's financial advisor to certain clientele" in a press release.