07/14/2002 11:00PM

Phantom Light's problem: 13 doesn't go into 12


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - The horses are set and the riding assignments confirmed for Sunday's $500,000 Prince of Wales Stakes at Fort Erie, the second leg of the Canadian Triple Crown.

But there's still one important piece of the puzzle missing, as there are 13 candidates for Sunday's race and only 12 will be allowed to start.

With preference based on lifetime earnings, the horse on the bubble is Phantom Light, owned by Stronach Stable and trained by Roger Attfield.

Phantom Light has raced just three times and he won his maiden in his seasonal bow over 1 1/16 miles here June 20.

Fort Erie plans to card Phantom Light as an also-eligible if 13 horses are entered, but Attfield is not interested in that scenario, one offshoot of which would be that Phantom Light would have post 12 if he drew in.

Entries for the Prince of Wales close at 10 a.m. Wednesday and the post position draw will be held at noon.

Classic Mike works over track

Prince of Wales contender Classic Mike vanned down from Woodbine to the Fort on Monday. He breezed five furlongs in 1:00.60 and then schooled in the paddock before the first race before heading home.

Christopher Griffith, one of Fort Erie's leading riders, was aboard for the drill, but Emile Ramsammy has the call for the Prince of Wales.

"I was happy with it," said Reade Baker, who watched Classic Mike gallop out six furlongs in 1:14.40. "He went really easy, and he galloped out nicely."

Classic Mike, owned by Dom Romeo, finished eighth as the second favorite here in the June 23 Queen's Plate. But the gelding rapped himself on a tendon during the running and did not react well to the hot and humid conditions.

More Wales workers

Questing Knight, who will be seeking his third straight win in his stakes debut in the Prince of Wales, served notice with a five-furlong bullet drill of 59.80 seconds on the training track here Monday.

Mickey Walls, who has picked up the mount, was aboard for the drill, in which Questing Knight went his first three furlongs in 36.40 and galloped out six furlongs in 1:13.40.

"We were trying to go in 1:01 or 1:02," said Mike DePaulo, who trains Questing Knight for Overheath Stable. "He went his first eighth in 13, just galloping. He's a fit horse."

Ford Every Stream, who finished fourth as the Plate favorite, worked six furlongs in 1:13 on the training track Sunday, going in company with older stablemate Spicy Prospector.

Slade Callaghan, who will ride Ford Every Stream for the first time in the Prince of Wales, was in the irons for the drill.

Ford Every Stream is owned by Sam-Son Farm and trained by Mark Frostad, who teamed up to win the 2000 Prince of Wales with Scatter the Gold.

Callagahan won last Saturday's Toronto Cup for the same connections with Portcullis, who looms as one of the horses to beat in the $500,000 Breeders' Stakes here Aug. 10. The Breeders', a 1 1/2-mile turf race, is the final leg of the Canadian Triple Crown.

Forever Grand, who finished third in the Plate, worked five furlongs on the main track Saturday, finishing in 1:00.80 while going in company with stablemate Seven on Friday.

"They went along and breezed, did it easy," said Bob Tiller, who trains Forever Grand and is a co-owner of the gelding along with Frank DiGiulio.

Tiller won last year's Prince of Wales with Win City.

Wales-bound again

Barbeau Ruckus, who finished seventh in the Plate, had been entered in the Toronto Cup but was scratched and has returned to the Wales trail.

"I think I made a good choice by scratching," said trainer Ross Armata. "I thought the race was pretty salty to try him on turf for the first time."

Barbeau Ruckus instead worked five furlongs on the main track Saturday, going in 1:03 under regular rider Dino Luciani.

"He's in good order; everything is good," said Armata. "We really didn't want to work him too hard."

* All but two of the Prince of Wales candidates are stabled here and are to be ridden by Woodbine jockeys. Le Cinquieme Essai is based at Fort Erie with trainer Paul Nielsen and will be ridden by Brian Bochinski. Fuzzy Star, who returned to his Delaware Park base after finishing fifth in the Queen's Plate, is trained by Mike Petro and will be ridden by his brother, Nick Petro.

* One jockey who has opted to remain at Woodbine Sunday is Todd Kabel, who had been riding Ford Every Stream. Kabel will ride Quiet Resolve here in Sunday's feature, the $300,000 Chinese Cultural Centre Stakes, and was in the irons when the gelding breezed five furlongs in 1:01.80 on the training track here Sunday. Quiet Resolve, Canada's horse of the year in 2000, went in company with Strike Smartly, who was clocked in 1:02.20 under jockey Laurie Gulas and also is headed for Sunday's feature.

* Another pair of Sam-Son champions worked six furlongs in concert on the training track Sunday, with Dancethruthedawn going in 1:12.40 and the Catch the Ring in 1:12.80. Dancethruthedawn is pointing to the $250,000 Go for Wand, a Grade 1, 1 1/8-mile race for fillies and mares at Saratoga on July 28. Catch the Ring is bound for Sunday's $600,000 Delaware Handicap, a Grade 3 race for fillies and mares at 1 1/4 miles. Her stablemate, Mountain Angel, also is scheduled to compete there.

* Jockey Patrick Husbands has been fined $500 for misuse of his whip. The stewards ruled Husbands cut his winning mount, Rich Assertion, during the fifth race here last Wednesday.