10/23/2006 11:00PM

New barn gets Galaxy sharp


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Thursday marks the 10th anniversary of Woodbine playing host to the 1996 Breeders' Cup, one of the highlights during the storied 50-year history of the track.

There have been many significant changes here since then, including slots-fueled purses, which are among the highest in North America, and the introduction of the synthetic racing surface, Polytrack, on Aug. 30.

Thursday's featured third race on the Polytrack is a first-level allowance, in which a nondescript field of seven will vie for a healthy $69,100 purse. Galaxy could be the one to beat in the 1 1/16-mile event.

Galaxy placed in two restricted stakes two years ago at 2, but was winless in 11 starts in 2005. He ended his slump with a victory over $40,000 conditioned claimers on a sloppy inner dirt track July 22, using his patented late rally to win by a half-length.

After two dull efforts, trainer Sam DiPasquale dropped Galaxy to $20,000 company on Sept. 8, and watched him score while being claimed by trainer John Simms.

In his first start for Simms in a Sept. 24 allowance, Galaxy came from midpack to finish a close second, while earning a career-high 85 Beyer Speed Figure. Simms has won at a lofty 26 percent clip second time off the claim since the beginning of 2005, with a positive return on investment.

Rounding out the third-race lineup are Etruscan, Toneless, Good and Lucky, Shampel, Strathclyde, and Judith's Lake.

Etruscan won his maiden going long on the all-weather surface in his penultimate start, and was recently a close fifth behind Galaxy in allowance company. He breezed five-eighths in a quick 1:01.80 on Oct. 15 for trainer Mark Frostad, who is 2 for 16 at the meeting when using jockey Garry Cruise.

Manitoba shipper Good and Lucky wound up second in a Sept. 23 allowance at six furlongs at Assiniboia Downs. He finished third in both of his races here last fall, when trained by Josie Carroll.

Good and Lucky has some stamina in his pedigree, and figures to show speed along the inside in his first attempt beyond seven furlongs.

Toneless ran second to the continent's winningest horse this year, Cold War, in a minor stakes at Fort Erie on Sept. 17. He faded to seventh after a wide stalking trip here in a Sept. 30 allowance on the grass.

Strathclyde finished just a neck behind Etruscan in sixth in the Sept.o24 allowance. He defeated $32,000 maidens in his previous outing.