Updated on 09/16/2011 7:38AM

Nuclear Debate vs. Numerous Times in Nearctic


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - California shipper Nuclear Debate will meet 2001 Atto Mile winner Numerous Times and 12 others in Sunday's star-studded supporting feature on Queen's Plate Day at Woodbine, the $292,250 Nearctic Handicap. The six-furlong turf dash has also lured the 2001 Nearctic winner, Mr. Epperson, dirt specialist Wake at Noon, and the speedy Texas Glitter, a beaten favorite in this Grade 2 event last year.

Nuclear Debate, the 122-pound highweight, earned a whopping 109 Beyer Figure in winning the five-furlong Beck Auto Group Turf Sprint Handicap on May 27 at Lone Star Park. Trained by Darrell Vienna, Nuclear Debate was previously third in the Grade 3 San Simeon Handicap at Santa Anita.

David Flores, Vienna's go-to rider, has the mount.

Numerous Times had won all five of his races heading into last year's Grade 1 Atto Mile, in which he prevailed in a three-horse photo with Affirmed Success and Quiet Resolve. He was subsequently shipped to Belmont for the Breeders' Cup Mile, but was an early scratch after suffering a wrenched ankle.

Numerous Times lost for the first time in his 2002 opener, finishing second in the allowance prep for the Nearctic. Trainer Sid Attard said Numerous Times got sick during the spring, and was short on fitness heading into the race.

"He was training so good," Attard recalled, "but he came out of one of his works coughing, and had a throat infection. He missed two weeks of training."

Wake at Noon won his first three starts this year, all in stakes here, before finishing 10th and last in the Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap at Belmont last time out.

Trainer Abraham Katryan said Wake at Noon wasn't a happy camper in the May 27 Met Mile. "He never really tried," Katryan said. "There was no excuse."

Wake at Noon faded to end up 13th after setting the pace in last year's Atto Mile, the only time he has competed on turf. Katryan thinks Wake at Noon merits one more chance on the grass. Wake at Noon worked a fast five furlongs on turf June 9.

"He worked five-eighths in 57 [seconds] on the turf," Katryan said. "There isn't another spot for him here, and it would be stupid of me to run him out of town after the way he was just beaten."

Trainer Todd Pletcher has named John Velazquez to ride Texas Glitter, who was a close second in each of his two most recent outings, both in five-furlong stakes in the United States.

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