04/28/2005 11:00PM

Millfleet well placed in return


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Two-time restricted stakes winner Millfleet fits nicely in Sunday's feature race at Woodbine, an $80,000 optional claimer for nonwinners-of-three other than maiden or claiming.

Millfleet, a 4-year-old trained by Hugo Dittfach for owner-breeder Margaret Squires, took some time to come around last year. He went into a slump after winning his maiden in June, but began to blossom in the fall after his growing pains receded.

Millfleet overcame traffic problems to capture the seven-furlong Deputy Minister Stakes with a Beyer Speed Figure of 94 on Oct. 20. He came back just 11 days later in the one-mile Bunty Lawless Stakes on turf, scoring by three-quarters of a length with a Beyer Figure of 91.

Millfleet subsequently ran third behind Wando and Twisted Wit in the Mt. Sassafras Stakes, but could manage only fifth place as the favorite in his season finale in the Sir Barton Stakes.

Millfleet is returning from a five-month break and posted two bullet workouts last month, including a six-furlong drill in 1:15.40 seconds April 17. Jill Scharfstein has the mount.

Also entered in the five-furlong dash are Draw Fire, X Box, D C's Thunder, Crease Infraction, and San Diego Blowout.

Turf sprint specialist Draw Fire is also making his first start of the year. He took a second-level allowance at Gulfstream last spring, and was second in the Kentucky Cup Turf Dash in September at Kentucky Downs.

X Box battled three wide on the lead through quick fractions before fading to third in his first start of the year, against $62,500 opposition.

D C's Thunder landed a $60,000 claimer over next-out winner Big E E at Aqueduct March 24. He won three races over a variety of distances here in 2004.

Crease Infraction, who was winless in nine outings last year, has a remarkable 14 runner-up finishes in 41 career starts.

San Diego Blowout has not accomplished much since winning the 2003 Colin Stakes as a 2-year-old.

The nine-race card, which doesn't have a stakes, will conclude with an interesting $62,500 optional claimer for fillies and mares, which is headed by Whispertoascream.

Whispertoascream tried stakes company on the second day of the meeting in the six-furlong Whimsical and came away with third money after a wide trip behind a slow pace.