03/09/2006 12:00AM

Miesque's Approval still strong


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Earlier this winter, Miesque's Approval spoiled jockey Jerry Bailey's farewell party when he upset Silver Tree, the final mount of the Hall of Fame rider's career, in the Sunshine Millions Turf. On Saturday, Miesque's Approval could play the spoiler again when he tries to foil the returns of two-time Grade 1 winner Good Reward and multiple Grade 1 stakes-placed English Channel in Gulfstream Park's $100,000 Canadian Turf Handicap.

The 1 1/16-mile Canadian Turf drew a talented field of nine which also includes Silver Tree, recent Grade 3 Appleton Handicap winner Gulch Approval, and the Grade 2 stakes-placed Muqbil.

rallied from the rear of the pack for a half-length decision over his former stablemate and 4-5 favorite Silver Tree in the Sunshine Millions Turf. The win was the first for the 7-year-old Miesque's Approval since being turned over to trainer Marty Wolfson over the fall.

Wolfson had contemplated passing the Canadian Turf but said Miesque's Approval was doing so well that he decided to run and use the race as a possible prep for Keeneland's Grade 2 Maker's Mark Mile on April 14.

"He worked great earlier this week," said Wolfson. "He's acting like a young horse again."

won the Grade 1 Hollywood Derby at 3 and the Grade 1 Manhattan Handicap last June but has not started since finishing sixth over a sloppy track in the Grade 2 Hawthorne Gold Cup on Sept. 24. Trainer Shug McGaughey said he decided to stop on Good Reward at that point and freshen him for the 2006 campaign.

has not run since finishing fifth in the Breeders' Cup Turf. He had finished a close second behind Shakespeare in Belmont's Grade 1 Turf Classic International and second to Gun Salute in Arlington Park's Grade 1 Secretariat Stakes in his two previous starts.

has finished first or second in five of his last six starts. Two of the near-misses came last summer at Saratoga, against Eclipse Award winner Leroidesanimaux in the Grade 2 Fourstardave Handicap and to Breeders' Cup Mile hero Artie Schiller in the Grade 2 Bernard Baruch Handicap.

Gulch Approval, second behind Old Forester in the 2005 Canadian Turf, set an uncontested pace then withstood Old Dodge to register a half-length win in the Appleton on Feb. 11.

Muqbil, a troubled third in last year's Canadian Turf, led throughout to win a fourth-level optional claiming race earlier in the meet.