09/18/2008 12:00AM

Not Bourbon meeting older foes


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Not Bourbon, winner of the Queen's Plate,will face older Ontario-sired opposition over seven furlongs on Saturday at Woodbine in the $125,000 Overskate Stakes.

Not Bourbon captured one of the better Queen's Plates in recent years. He was awarded a Beyer Speed Figure of 92 in the 1 1/4-mile contest after holding off Woodbine Oaks winner Ginger Brew in the final strides.

But things haven't gone smoothly for Not Bourbon since the June 22 Plate. He was favored over Harlem Rocker in the second leg of the Canadian Triple Crown, the Prince of Wales Stakes at Fort Erie, but could manage only sixth in a race that Harlem Rocker dominated.

Trainer Roger Attfield said Not Bourbon underwent throat surgery after the Prince of Wales.

"He was in a rank situation when he got boxed in, and entrapped his palate," Attfield said. "I think he did the same thing before in a workout. It threw a curveball at us."

Not Bourbon was to have made his turf debut in the Aug. 31 Vice Regent Stakes, but was a late scratch when he developed a lump on his leg the morning of the race.

Not Bourbon showed his affinity for seven furlongs when he won the May 3 Queenston Stakes, for which he was awarded a career-high 96 Beyer.

Jono Jones, who galloped Not Bourbon regularly leading up to the Plate, retains the mount.

Dancer's Bajan, the 2007 Overskate winner, is shortening up after finishing second as the favorite in the restricted Elgin Stakes. He earned a career-best 101 Beyer the last time he went from a route to a sprint Aug. 6, while taking the 6 1/2-furlong Shepperton Stakes.

Trainer Bob Tiller anticipates another strong showing from Dancer's Bajan on Saturday.

"I think he'll run big again," said Tiller. "He tries every time. It's difficult to go back and forth [in distance], but that's what we're faced with, or we don't run at all. He's better at one-turn races, and six-and-a-half or seven-eighths are two of his best distances."

Corey Fraser will ride Dancer's Bajan, who has a good chance to be a Sovereign Award finalist for champion sprinter if he finishes the year off on a high note.

Grazettes Landing has won three consecutive Ontario-sired sprints, including two allowance races. He could be the Overskate pacemaker.

Yummy With Butter is also in solid allowance form, and should have a say in the outcome.