07/30/2004 12:00AM

No rematch in Breeders'


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - There will be no rubber match between Niigon, the Queen's Plate winner, and A Bit O'Gold, winner of the Prince of Wales, in the third leg of Canada's Triple Crown at Woodbine next Sunday.

Niigon, owned by Chiefswood Stable and trained by Eric Coatrieux, was not even nominated to the $500,000 Breeders', a 1 1/2-mile turf race for Canadian-bred 3-year-olds, and is casting his sights farther afield.

"So far, he's going to go to Saratoga, for the Jim Dandy," said Coatrieux. "If he runs in the top three, I guess we'll try the Travers.

"We've got to make sure he's as good as those kind."

The Grade 2, $500,000 Jim Dandy will be run over 1 1/8 miles Aug. 8. The Grade 1, $1 million Travers goes over 1 1/4 miles Aug. 28.

Robert Landry, Niigon's regular rider, will retain the mount.

Landry was aboard Friday morning when Niigon, in his first workout since the Prince of Wales, and his stablemate Alleged Ruler went six furlongs in company in 1:11.40 at their Chiefswood Farm base.

Niigon defeated A Bit O'Gold by three-quarters of a length in the Queen's Plate, then lost by a head to A Bit O'Gold in the 1 3/16-mile Prince of Wales.

Coatrieux said the Breeders' simply did not fit into Niigon's program.

"If it was on the dirt, he'd run in it," said Coatrieux. "He's getting good; we don't feel like we should change him over."

A Bit O'Gold will try turf for the first time in the Breeders'.

"When he came out of the Prince of Wales he was very proud of himself," said Catherine Day Phillips, who trains A Bit O'Gold for The Two Bit Racing Stable. "He knew he'd won.

"He was really grumpy after the Plate."

A Bit O'Gold got a well-deserved break at his trainer's Kingfield Farm following is Prince of Wales triumph.

"He had a week of turnout," said Day Phillips. "We brought him back in this week. He's very happy and perky."

His Smoothness, who was beaten 9 1/2 lengths running fifth in the Plate and 15 3/4 lengths running third in the Wales, is the only other horse who might end up running in all three legs of the Canadian triple.

"That's where we're steering at," said Jim Day, the father of Day Phillips, who trains His Smoothness for the Come By Chance Stable of his mother, Edna Arrow.

Silver Ticket in Breeders' off turf win

Heading the list of newcomers for the Breeders' is Silver Ticket, who is owned by Sam-Son Farm and trained by Mark Frostad.

After finishing eighth, beaten 19 lengths in his second start of the year in the Queen's Plate, Silver Ticket returned to turf and was an impressive winner of the Grade 3 Toronto Cup over 1 1/8 miles here July 17.

Silver Ticket is slated to be part of a four-horse assault on the Breeders' by Sam-Son and Frostad.

The others are: Burst of Fire, who finished third in the Toronto Cup; Rainbows for Luck, coming off a third-place finish behind older rivals in a first-level allowance at 1 1/2 miles on turf here July 11; and Hunt the Rainbow, third in a maiden race over 1 1/2 miles of turf here July 24.

Attfield sending two to Breeders'

Trainer Roger Attfield, who has won the Breeders' a record seven times, has two candidates this year in Lone Arrow and Langburg, both of whom he owns in partnership with Bill Werner.

Lone Arrow, who won his maiden over 1 1/16 miles of turf here last November, is coming off a ninth-place finish in the Toronto Cup.

"He could have run better," Attfield said. "I wasn't super-happy with the way he went into the race. He was a little dead."

Lone Arrow certainly was lively enough here Friday morning, as he worked five furlongs in 1:00.60 on the "good" turf training track with regular rider Richard Dos Ramos in the irons.

"With the dogs up where they are, it was a fairly good move, the way he did it," said Attfield.

Langburg has made his last two starts in first-level allowance sprints on turf, finishing second at six furlongs and eighth, beaten 3 3/4 lengths, at seven furlongs.

Witness This on right surface

Other confirmed Breeders' candidates are Witness This, who is owned by Gaillardia Racing and trained by Mark Frostad; Cavans Lane, owned by Eugene and Laura Melnyk and Iris Bristow and trained by David Bell; and Strike Em Hard, trained and partly owned by Dave Cotey in partnership with Hugh Galbraith and Derek Ball.

Witness This won a first-level allowance over six furlongs of turf here May 30 and then finished fourth in his only subsequent start in the June 27 Charlie Barley at a mile on the grass.

"He likes the turf," said Casse. "A mile and a half is an entirely different world. We're going to give it a shot."

Cavans Lane recorded his first lifetime win when traveling 1 1/2 miles on the turf in his last start here July 24.

"He just broke his maiden, so it's a big step up," said Bell. "But, the distance and turf seem to be to his liking."

Strike Em Hard, a well-beaten sixth in the Plate, came back to finish a strong second in a second-level allowance for 3-year-olds and upward over 1 1/16 miles of dirt here July 25.

Velvet Snow skips Wonder Where

The Wonder Where Stakes, a 1 1/4-mile turf race and the third leg of the triple tiara for Canadian-bred 3-year-old fillies, will be run here Sunday.

Nine fillies were nominated for the Wonder Where but only eight will start, the exception being Velvet Snow.

Owned by Frank DiGiulio and trained by Bob Tiller, Velvet Snow also was nominated to Monday's Grade 3, $150,000 Royal North Handicap, a six-furlong turf race for fillies and mares, and is opting for that spot instead.

Velvet Snow won her maiden over one mile turf in her third career start here June 20 and then came right back to take the Ontario Damsel, a 6 1/2-furlong turf race for Canadian-bred 3-year-old fillies.

"We're looking at races later on going a mile," said Tiller. "I don't want her to go up to a mile and a quarter, then go back to a mile.

"I'm probably just better off to stay going short."