04/28/2002 11:00PM

Plate colts have opener delayed


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - The plans of a couple of prominent Queen's Plate hopefuls were put on hold here Sunday when the card was canceled just before the running of the sixth race.

Streakin Rob and Barbeau Ruckus, both stakes winners at 2, were among the seven contestants for the sixth race, a mile and 70-yard allowance, which was a prep for the May 18 Marine Stakes. The field was in the paddock when the decision to cancel was announced.

Although the race was to be the first of the season for both horses, neither Jim Day, who trains Streakin Rob, nor Ross Armata, conditioner of Barbeau Ruckus, is ready to hit the panic button.

Chris Evans, racing secretary and director of racing for the Woodbine Entertainment Group, plans to carry over the five canceled races to Friday's card and the Marine prep would seem to have a good chance of attracting an adequate number of entrants.

Both Day and Armata expressed relief over not having to run their charges on Sunday's racetrack, which had been pounded by heavy rains.

"Obviously the horse was cranked up, and we wanted to run yesterday," said Day. "But you always hate to race horses on a bad racetrack."

"If I'd had a race under him, I'd have wanted to scratch him anyway," said Armata. "That track was nasty."

If the Marine prep does not fill then Day still has a backup plan for Streakin Rob, in the form of Saturday's seven-furlong Queenston. But Armata does not have the same luxury with Barbeau Ruckus, who was not nominated to the Queenston.

"I wanted to go two turns with him," said Armata. "He became a stakes winner going two turns."

The $150,000 Queenston, for Canadian-bred 3-year-olds, is the next stakes stepping-stone to the 1 1/4-mile Queen's Plate, which will be run here June 23.

Sticking with the plan

Lady Shari had been slated to use Sunday's allowance as her prep for the $250,000 Selene, a 1 1/16-mile race for 3-year-old fillies here May 20.

While the "real" prep for the Grade 1 Selene is booked for Saturday, trainer Dave Cotey's first choice for Lady Shari remains the same.

"I'll enter her against the boys first," said Cotey, also a part-owner of Lady Shari, who can use the Selene prep as a fallback if Friday's race doesn't fill. "This will work out. Three weeks [to the Selene] would have been better, but I can live with 16 or 17 days."

Wake at Noon to hit the road

Wake at Noon recorded his third stakes win in as many starts this year in last Saturday's Vigil, leaving Exciting Story in second place and reversing the finish of last year's running of the seven-furlong handicap.

But since the next scheduled local sprint stakes for which Wake at Noon is eligible is the Highlander Handicap, a six-furlong race here Sept. 29, it's safe to assume he'll be going on the road.

"There are a few possibilities," said trainer Abraham Katryan. "We could be considering the Met Mile."

The Met Mile is a Grade 1, $750,000 race at Belmont May 27.

In his first start after last year's Vigil, Exciting Story upset the Met Mile at 56-1.

Win City no sprinter

Win City, Canada's horse of the year and champion 3-year-old of 2001, finished sixth in his seasonal bow in the Vigil.

"I think when you have a horse like this, who doesn't miss any checks, your first reaction is disappointment," said trainer Bob Tiller. "But he had the 1-hole, and he was facing tough older sprinters; I don't think he can sprint with 4-year-olds [and up]."

Tiller allowed that he could have opted to run Win City in a 1 1/16-mile allowance prep for the Grade 3 Eclipse Handicap Saturday. The Eclipse, at 1 1/16 miles here May 11, is expected to be Win City's next start.

"Hindsight's a great thing," said Tiller. "Maybe I made a mistake running him in the Vigil. But if I'd run him long the first time, I might have knocked him out, which would have been a bigger mistake."

Tiller said Win City is "absolutely fine."

Numerous Times progressing

Numerous Times, unstarted since upsetting the Grade 1 Atto Mile here last September, breezed five furlongs in 58.80 seconds under regular rider Patrick Husbands on a fast training track here last Saturday.

"He's coming around nice," said Sid Attard, who trains Numerous Times for The Committee Stable. "Patrick said he felt very good."

Attard is pointing Numerous Times to the Grade 3 Connaught Cup, a $150,000 race over 1 1/16 miles of turf here May 25.

Changeintheweather eyes Marine

Changeintheweather, winner of the Grade 1 Grey here last September, had his first work at Woodbine last Saturday, going five furlongs in 1:00 on a fast main track under jockey Mickey Walls.

Trainer David Bell said Changeintheweather wore blinkers for the Saturday work, as he did in a fast work at Keeneland.

Changeintheweather, taken off the Kentucky Derby trail after finishing seventh in the Illinois Derby, is headed for the Marine.

* Shaws Creek, with regular rider Jake Barton aboard, worked four furlongs on the main track here Saturday in 48.40 seconds and is on schedule for the Queenston. Anglian Prince, also a Queenston candidate, drilled five furlongs in 58.80 seconds on a sloppy main track here Monday morning.