10/13/2004 11:00PM

My Vintage Port turned out at farm


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - My Vintage Port, Canada's champion 2-year-old filly last year, has gone to the farm of her trainer and part-owner, Ken Parsley.

In her last start, My Vintage Port finished an even fourth in the Carotene Stakes at 1 1/8 miles on turf here last Saturday.

"She's 100 percent," said Parsley. "She kind of ran a mediocre race, for her, last time. She never picked it up at any point. We're looking at several possibilities for her."

Those possibilities include a return to the races next season, a sale, or retirement, according to Parsley.

"We'll cover all the bases," he said.

My Vintage Port, an Ontario-sired daughter of Porto Foricos, won three stakes at 2 and added the Wonder Where and Eternal Search to her portfolio this season. She also finished third in the Woodbine Oaks and Bison City. All nine of her starts this year have come in stakes.

"She's a dream," said Parsley. "She did everything we asked, and she never missed a race."

My Vintage Port earned $383,302 in 2004, boosting her career total to $734,353.

Shippers coming soon for turf stakes

It will be relatively quiet on the local stakes front this weekend, with just five horses entered in Saturday's Durham Cup and only a few solid prospects for Sunday's Cup and Saucer. That should change dramatically by Oct. 24, when the Canadian International, E.P. Taylor, and Nearctic form a potent trio of turf offerings.

The $1.5 million Canadian International is a 1 1/2-mile race for 3-year-olds and upward, while the $750,000 E.P. Taylor is a 1 1/4-mile stakes for fillies and mares. The International and Taylor offer Grade 1 status, while the Nearctic, a six-furlong handicap, is a Grade 2.

The European influx for the International and Taylor should begin this weekend, and horses from England, France, and Germany are expected to be on the grounds by midweek. As in past years, however, the composition of both fields is subject to many twists and turns.

The Nearctic also is expected to attract several shippers, including the filly Dedication, who is based in New York with Christophe Clement.

The weights for the Nearctic were released Thursday, and Dedication was assigned 115 pounds. Wando, topweighted at 119 pounds, is not scheduled to participate.

Baird ready for Florida trip

Barbara Baird was in the winner's circle here Wednesday night with Boldest Angel, whom she trains for Pedigree Farm and who was was ridden by her husband, Jerry.

But the trainer also is looking ahead to sunnier days this winter at Gulfstream Park, where she'll be campaigning for the sixth time.

Baird has won her share of races at Gulfstream, including four from just 18 starters at this year's meeting. But she may be better remembered there from her pre-Baird days, when, as Barbara Pirie, she saddled 10 winners in both 2001 and 2002.

Baird already has a couple of runners tabbed for this year's trip in Coffee Street, who won back-to-back races at Gulfstream in February, and Dance on Home, who won two straight for Baird after she claimed him for $18,000 here in July.

Roving Angel takes shot in Astarita

Roving Angel, based at Woodbine with trainer Bobby Pion, arrived at Belmont late Wednesday night for her engagement in Sunday's Grade 3, $100,000 Astarita Stakes.

A Kentucky-bred owned by Keith and Rachel McClelland, Roving Angel will seek her fourth win in as many starts in the Astarita, a 6 1/2-furlong race for 2-year-old fillies.

After winning her maiden at five furlongs here Aug. 21, Roving Angel doubled up in a first-level allowance at six furlongs on Sept. 10 and was a runaway winner of the $50,000 Finger Lakes Juvenile Fillies, a six-furlong race on Oct. 2.

"The only race I had for her in Toronto was the Mazarine," said Pion, who wanted to keep Roving Angel in sprints and passed on that 1 1/16-mile stakes here Oct. 3.

When the time comes, however, Pion believes Roving Angel will handle the transition to two-turn racing.

"It looks like she'll go long," said Pion. "It shouldn't be a problem - she's easy to rate, she does whatever you want her to do."