09/08/2002 11:00PM

Parco Ducale to be near pace

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ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Parco Ducale, a hefty $80,000 claim three starts ago, will try to win the first allowance condition in Wednesday's Woodbine headliner, at a mile on the grass.

A field of 11 was drawn for the $69,900 race. Hanlan is entered for the main track only.

Parco Ducale displayed some promise last year at 2, winning his maiden race on the grass and earning a Beyer Speed Figure of 81. He was put away for the year after closing for second in an allowance dash in August.

Parco Ducale failed to finish better than third in his first three outings this year for trainer David Bell, who entered him with an $80,000 claiming price on July 11 in a one-mile turf race. He was a well-beaten fifth that day and was claimed by owner Bruno Schickedanz and trainer Abraham Katryan.

Parco Ducale ran back in the restricted Vice Regent Stakes, in which he finished fifth behind a sharp Mighty Quinn and Mulligan the Great, who upset Rare Friends in his next appearance in the Kenora Stakes.

Most recently, when he turned back from a mile to six furlongs in an $80,000 claimer, Parco Ducale pressed the pace en route to a game victory over a turf course rated as good.

Katryan believes a different strategy helped Parco Ducale snap out of his slump last time.

"He's a funny horse," Katryan said. "Normally, he likes to come from off the pace, but he's been flattening out after he makes his run. Last time, we figured that we'd try to send him to the lead, and he stayed there once he got there. It worked out good."

Emile Ramsammy, who won a classified allowance on Sunday aboard Katryan's stable star, Wake at Noon, retains the mount on Parco Ducale, a son of Schossberg.

Completing the second race lineup will be Slews Child, Sweep Dancer, Lucky Ferdinand, P.J.'s Paulie Boy, Aspen Ridge, Montenapoleone, Timber Thunder, El General, and Native Mark.

P.J.'s Paulie Boy ran a corker in his second start following an extended layoff on Aug. 23, rallying from six lengths back to win going away. Expect him to be closing prominently again, with Jono Jones back in the saddle for trainer Mark Casse.

Native Mark has finished second or third in each of his last five tries at this condition for Bell.

El General was recently shipped here from Belmont to trainer Malcolm Pierce, who has done very well with other Stronach Stable runners at this meet.

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