05/09/2010 11:00PM

Not Bourbon ends 20-month layoff


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Not Bourbon, the 2008 Queen's Plate winner, returns from an extended layoff in a sweet spot Wednesday night at Woodbine. He's part of a seven-horse field in a six-furlong allowance for older Ontario-sired runners that have not won a stakes worth $60,000 to the winner this year.

Not Bourbon gave Roger Attfield a record-tying eighth win by a trainer in the Plate when he beat the peaking Woodbine Oaks winner Ginger Brew by a head.

Not Bourbon never fired in the second leg of the 2008 Canadian Triple Crown, the Prince of Wales Stakes on the dirt at Fort Erie, and has been idle since his commanding victory in the Overskate Stakes in September 2008.

Not Bourbon was poised to make a comeback from a knee injury last July in the Bold Venture Stakes, but was scratched from the race because of the presence of 2008 Canadian Horse of the Year Fatal Bullet. He was subsequently pointed to the Shepperton Stakes last August, but never made that race because of a shoulder problem that forced him back to the sidelines.

Not Bourbon has recorded a litany of fast works leading up to Wednesday's race, including a five-furlong breeze in a bullet 58.40 seconds last Thursday.

Paso Doble figures to be the pacemaker, with Drunken Love and Bob's Ring racing in close proximity.

Paso Doble prevailed in a front-end battle before giving way to Grazettes Landing and Don's Folly when third in the six-furlong Debut Stakes opening day. He subsequently captured a second-level optional claimer by disqualification.

Drunken Love won two stakes last summer after being claimed for $62,500, including the 6 1/2-furlong Shepperton. He capped his 2009 campaign with a front-running tally over seven furlongs in a slow-paced optional claimer, and was sixth when he came off the bench in the Debut.

Bob's Ring won two Ontario-sired allowances in April, but only got a 76 Beyer Figure in the second of those races, and is seemingly biting off more than he can chew in this spot.

Stakes winners Costalivin and Dancer's Bajan are starting for the first time this year, and are both better suited to middle distances.

Costalivin wintered at the Payson Park training center with trainer John Ross, who has been faring well here with his Florida ship-ins.