08/02/2006 11:00PM

Only two make all three Crown stops


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - The $500,000 Breeders' Stakes, the 1 1/2-mile turf race that will conclude the Canadian Triple Crown here at Woodbine Sunday, will sport a decidedly different look from its predecessors in the series.

Of the 11 Canadian-bred 3-year-olds entered for the Breeders' on Thursday, only Shillelagh Slew and Ascot Bill will be completing a perfect attendance record for the series, which began here with the Queen's Plate and continued with the Prince of Wales at Fort Erie.

Shillelagh Slew finished fifth in the Queen's Plate and was placed first via disqualification after ending the runner-up to Malakoff in the Prince of Wales.

Ascot Bill, who remains eligible for a first-level allowance, ran fourth in the Queen's Plate and sixth in the Prince of Wales.

The only other Breeders' contestants who competed in either of the first two legs of the Canadian Triple Crown are Royal Challenger, who finished fourth but was moved up to third in the Prince of Wales, and Pyramid Park, who ended last of 13 in the Queen's Plate.

The balance of this year's Breeders' field is made up of French Beret; winner of the recent Toronto Cup over 1 1/8 miles on turf; one-time winners Kisseroo, Uncle Max, and Young Dom; and maidens Looktotherainbow, Skipped Bail, and Bravest Approval.

While no maiden has won the Breeders' in the race's modern era, Area Limits was winless when he finished a distant second to Jambalaya last year. Area Limits had raced in three stakes in his eight starts before the Breeders', however, and was coming off a third-place finish in the Toronto Cup.

Looktotherainbow also comes into the Breeders' off a respectable effort in the Toronto Cup, as he finished fourth there in just his second start.

"He stacked up pretty well in the Toronto Cup," said Mark Frostad, who trains Looktotherainbow for Sam-Son Farm. "And, I think he'll be better going further. He's only had two starts this year. It's been tough getting races for him."

In his debut, over 1 1/4 miles on turf here June 15, Looktotherainbow finished fourth behind Area Limits, who was finally graduating in his 13th outing.

Corey Fraser will ride Looktotherainbow for the first time in the Breeders'.

"I think he'll be competitive," said Frostad.

Skipped Bail, who will be making his sixth start in the Breeders', was beaten a head as the runner-up in the maiden race won by Area Limits and then ended third over 1 3/8 miles on turf here July 14.

According to Eric Coatrieux, private trainer for Chiefswood Stable, the Breeders' always was the long-term plan for Skipped Bail.

"I was kind of hoping he'd win a race first, but unfortunately it didn't happen," said Coatrieux. "He looks like a good candidate for the distance."

Coatrieux added that the Breeders' "looks like an easier race than I thought it was going to be."

Skipped Bail, who will be ridden by Robert Landry, will race with blinkers for the first time in the Breeders'.

"He leans in a little bit at the end of his races," said Coatrieux. "He looks at the other horses a bit more than he should, so I think they're going to help him."

Bravest Approval has started twice this year, finishing fourth in a maiden special over 1 1/4 miles on turf won by Young Dom and then second behind Privy Council and ahead of Skipped Bail last time out.

"We thought if he'd have broke his maiden last time, we'd probably have gone to the Breeders', " said Vella. "But he ran just such a strong race. He got shut off coming out of the gate, he got stopped turning for home, and he finished second.

"So, we decided it was a good enough race. The main thing with him is that he'll get the trip."

David Clark, who was aboard the Vella-trained Like a Gem for her $98.10 win here in last Saturday's Wonder Where for 3-year-old fillies, retains the mount on Bravest Approval.

Kisseroo looks made for grass

Vella will field a second Breeders' entrant in Kisseroo, who is owned by the R.M.C. Stable of Syd Cooper.

"We were thinking about the Breeders' for a while after his turf race," said Vella. "He really showed us that he would run all day on the grass."

Kisseroo finished a closing third when making his turf debut here June 9 in a first-level "B" allowance for 3-year-olds and upward over 1 1/16 miles. In his only subsequent start, Kisseroo finished second in a first-level allowance for 3-year-olds and upward over 1 1/16 miles on the inner track here July 19.

"We tried to get into an allowance race with him a couple of weeks ago that went a mile and three-eighths on turf," said Vella. "We were hoping to learn more from that, but we were excluded and we ended up running in that dirt race."

Kisseroo was one of two supplements to the Breeders', along with Uncle Max, at a cost of $15,000.

Jim McAleney will ride Kisseroo for the first time.

Stein fined for workout violation

Jockey Justin Stein has been fined $300 for working Ascot Bill inside the pylons during a special E.P. Taylor turf course training session for the Breeders' here last Sunday.

"We didn't think it was anything malicious," said Bill McMahon, senior steward here for the Ontario Racing Commission. "He was confused. He'd never seen the dogs out that far. He was just carrying out his orders."

Ascot Bill was clocked in 1:00.20, deceptively faster than the only other official five-furlong workers Royal Challenger and Wedded Woman, who breezed in company in 1:04.20.