04/22/2003 11:00PM

Plate nominees in allowance

Email

ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Queen's Plate nominees Whiskey Sez and El Gran Maestro are among the eight Ontario-sired 3-year-olds in Friday's seventh race at Woodbine, a 5 1/2-furlong allowance worth $63,500.

Speedy Whiskey Sez, a Kinghaven Farm homebred, finished fifth and sixth in two juvenile outings for trainer Roger Attfield. He returned from a four-month layoff April 5, winning a six-furlong maiden special weight race for Ontario-sired runners over a lightning-fast track that favored speed. His final time of 1:09 earned him a Beyer Speed Figure of 84.

Todd Kabel retains the mount on Whiskey Sez, who worked five furlongs in 1:00 over the main track April 15. The workout was the fastest of 36 moves at the distance that day.

El Gran Maestro is probably a more legitimate prospect for the 1 1/4-mile Queen's Plate, which will be run June 22.

El Gran Maestro rallied with authority to win his 2-year-old debut, finished a well-beaten second to Snake Pit 19 days later in the Frost King Stakes, and then finished fourth in the Coronation Futurity.

El Gran Maestro capped his juvenile campaign Dec. 1 with a second-place finish to Timeform in the Kingarvie Stakes at 1 1/16 miles. Majestic Wisdom, who finished third in the Kingarvie, upset Queen's Plate winter-book favorite Wando here recently in the Achievement Handicap.

Trainer Jake Nemett said he's concerned the distance of Friday's race is too short for El Gran Maestro, but he stressed that El Gran Maestro has worked encouragingly for his first start of the year.

Completing the field for Friday's seventh race are Penthouse Prince, Mystic Buck, Battlements, Fleet Foot Fox, Lucky Larue, and Godin.

Battlements earned an 82 Beyer when he won the first race of the meet, a five-furlong Ontario-sired allowance March 22.

Penthouse Prince crushed a field of $62,500 claiming maidens, despite running on a dead rail, in his 2-year-old debut. He finished a fading fifth in his only other outing, Nov. 20 in the Sunny's Halo Stakes, and will race on Lasix for Friday's race.

Lucky Larue's runner-up placing in the restricted Clarendon Stakes was the highlight of his 2-year-old campaign. He was out of action between his fourth-place finish July 28 in the Bull Page Stakes and his third-place finish in a March 22 allowance race.