07/10/2002 11:00PM

Mountain Beacon will focus on turf


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - While the majority of the Queen's Plate field is waiting for Fort Erie's July 21 Prince of Wales Stakes, Mountain Beacon will earn the distinction of being the first Plate returnee when he runs in Saturday's 10th race at Woodbine.

Mountain Beacon, owned by Sam-Son Farm and trained by Mark Frostad, had burst into the Plate picture with a handy win over 1 1/8 miles at Keeneland in his second career start April 19.

But he has disappointed badly in three subsequent outings here, including a distant 12th-place finish as the longest shot in the field of 13 for the June 23 Plate, and now will switch his attention to grass racing.

"He's probably turf," said Frostad, who will be sending out Mountain Beacon in a first-level allowance over 1 3/8 miles. "He's breezed well on it and his dam, Quiet Cheer, was turf.

"Obviously we're trying to get him ready for the Breeders', if he's good enough."

Mountain Beacon will be racing 1 3/8 miles in Saturday's first-level allowance for 3-year-olds and upward.

The $500,000 Breeders' Stakes, the 1 1/2-mile turf race for Canadian-bred 3-year-olds which is the final leg of the Canadian Triple Crown, will be run here Aug. 10.

Frostad said Mountain Beacon is one of three Sam-Son Farm runners who are entered in turf races Saturday and could be Breeders'-bound.

The others are Portcullis, who will be one of the favorites in the 1 1/8-mile Toronto Cup, and Quiet Colony, who is entered in a 1 1/4-mile maiden race.

Quiet Colony will be racing for just the second time in his career after setting a fast pace before faltering to finish eighth in his 1 1/8-mile turf opener here June 23.

A son of Pleasant Colony and Quiet Cleo, Quiet Colony is a half-brother to Canadian champion Quiet Resolve.

Bravely on target for Prince of Wales

Bravely, who was scratched from the Queen's Plate due to a high white blood cell count, tuned up for the $500,000 Prince of Wales with six furlongs in 1:13 here Thursday morning.

The 1 3/16-mile Prince of Wales is the second leg of the Canadian Triple Crown for Canadian-bred 3-year-olds.

Working on a fast main track, Bravely went in company with stablemate Merlin's Moon, an allowance-caliber 4-year-old who finished in 1:13.40.

"Merlin's Moon broke off two lengths in front," said Catherine Day Phillips, Bravely's owner and trainer.

"Bravely stalked him, and made a big sweeping move around the eighth pole. Merlin's Moon picked it up, and they went head-and-head, but at the wire Bravely was a half-length in front and he galloped out way in front.

"He went super. I'm very, very pleased."

Jake Barton, who has regained the mount on Bravely after piloting Shaws Creek in the Plate, was in the irons for Thursday's work. Exercise rider Adelene Amaral was aboard Merlin's Moon.

Many top riders heading out of town

Jockeys could be in rather short supply here next Sunday with at least eight of the current top 20 in the standings currently on call for the Prince of Wales.

In addition to Barton, Woodbine regulars with potential Wales entrants include Steven Bahen (T J's Lucky Moon), David Clark (Mister Coop), Patrick Husbands (Forever Grand), Robert Landry (Phantom Light), Jim McAleney (Anglian Prince), Constant Montpellier (Shaws Creek), and Emile Ramsammy (Classic Mike).

Classic Mike is slated to work and school in the paddock at Fort Erie on Monday but a decision on his Prince of Wales participation will not be made until Wednesday, which is entry day.

"If the long-range forecast is extremely hot, we're not entering," said Reade Baker, who trains Classic Mike for Dom Romeo.

Classic Mike finished eighth as the second choice in the Plate, which was run under extremely hot and humid conditions. He also rapped himself on a tendon during the running.

Jono Jones, who rode Classic Mike in the Plate, had suffered an injury to his foot during a training mishap earlier that week.

X-rays the following day revealed ligament damage and Jones has not ridden in the interim. His agent, Tom Patton, hopes Jones will be back in action next week.

Kabel chooses between two mounts

Todd Kabel, who has been riding Prince of Wales candidate Ford Every Stream, has chosen to stay at Woodbine to pilot Quiet Resolve in the same day's $300,000 Chinese Cultural Centre Stakes.

The Grade 2, 1 3/8-mile turf race formerly was known as the Hong Kong Jockey Club Trophy.

"The Hong Kong Jockey Club pulled back on several of their overseas promotions," explained John Whitson, vice president of Thoroughbred racing, for the Woodbine Entertainment Group.

The Chinese Cultural Centre, based in Toronto, will join Woodbine in a joint promotion of the race and that Sunday afternoon's accompanying festivities, billed as "Chinese Day at Woodbine."

* This Sunday's two stakes races, the Colin and the Kamar, both drew five-horse fields. The Colin, an open six-furlong race for 2-year-olds, will be worth $133,625. The Kamar, a seven-furlong race for Canadian-bred fillies and mares, offers a purse of $105,000.