06/05/2006 11:00PM

Plate Trial losers still heading to Queen's Plate

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ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Pipers Thunder, who won last Sunday's in only his third start, will be joined in the June 25 Queen's Plate at Woodbine by the formidable Wanna Runner, Malakoff, and Shillelagh Slew.

But those four seem to be little deterrent to several of the others who ran in the 1 1/8-mile Plate Trial, as the second- through sixth-place finishers are also on schedule to run in the $1 million Queen's Plate at 1 1/4 miles.

Ascot Bill, beaten a length in the Plate Trial while closing to finish second behind Pipers Thunder, would seem to have the most upside aside from the Plate Trial winner. Ascot Bill was making only his fourth start and his stakes debut on Sunday.

In his previous start, Ascot Bill had finished a troubled third in a first-level allowance at 1 1/16 miles here May 14.

"He's something, I'll tell you," said Attard, thinking back on Ascot Bill's Plate Trial effort under apprentice rider Justin Stein.

Ascot Bill, who was bumped at the break, lost position while dropping back to last with three furlongs to run, but then angled out for the drive and gained 1 1/2 lengths on the winner through the final furlong.

"I think the mile and a quarter is really going to suit him," said Attard.

Edenwold, beaten a total of 1 1/2 lengths as the third-place finisher under rider Emile Ramsammy, was making only his second start of the season after finishing a closing second in the seven-furlong Queenston here May 6.

"I think he was very tenacious to come back on the way he did," said Josie Carroll, who trains Edenwold. "I think he certainly got a lot out of that race; it put a lot of bottom into him."

Canada's 2-year-old male champion after winning three consecutive sprint stakes here last summer, Edenwold finished fourth in the 1 1/8-mile Coronation Futurity and fifth in the 1 1/16-mile Display.

Cifercat finished a creditable fourth, beaten just two lengths, while making his stakes debut in the Plate Trial for trainer Abraham Katryan.

Claimed for $32,000 from his winning seasonal bow here April 23, Cifercat finished second in his first start for his new barn in a first-level allowance over 1 1/16 miles here May 14.

"I thought he looked really good Sunday," said Katryan. "He's still learning. I think he'll improve off that race."

Atlas Shrugs, who had won the six-furlong Woodstock and the seven-furlong Queenston under new rider Corey Fraser in his first two starts this spring, finished fifth in the Plate Trial, beaten four lengths in his first try around two turns.

"I was happy with it," said Reade Baker, who trains Atlas Shrugs. "He wasn't losing any ground at the end. I don't know; maybe he wasn't quite fit enough. He drank a lot of water when he came back."

Thinking Out Loud also was making just his second start of the season in the Plate Trial, and faltered to finish sixth, 6 3/4 lengths behind the winner, with Jim McAleney riding. Winner of the Coronation Futurity for trainer David Bell here last fall, Thinking Out Loud also led early in the Queenston before finishing sixth.

"It was kind of a funny race," said Bell, of the Plate Trial. "But he seems to have come out of it well, and the rider's very positive."

Bell also indicated that he has not ruled out the Queen's Plate for Bridgecut, who finished third in a first-level allowance over 1 1/16 miles here last Friday.

No Queen's Plate for Seeking Shelter

Seeking Shelter, who finished 4 1/2 lengths ahead of Bridgecut as the runner-up in that allowance race on Friday, is unlikely to proceed to the Queen's Plate.

"At this point, I'm pretty much convinced we've fallen off the Plate trail," said Malcolm Pierce, who trains Seeking Shelter.

Runaway Hit gets strong work for Victoria Park

It would appear that Sunday's $125,000 Victoria Park, an open 1 1/8-mile race for 3-year-olds, will have no bearing on this year's Queen's Plate.

A short field of American-breds is expected for the Victoria Park, and Runaway Hit, trained by Danny Vella, will be looking to seize the opportunity while making his stakes debut.

Runaway Hit is heading into the Victoria Park off a 1 3/4-length victory in the 1 1/16-mile allowance race in which Cifercat finished second and Ascot Bill third.

Runaway Hit tuned up for the Victoria Park by working six furlongs in 1:12.80 on the main track on Friday.

"He worked tremendous," said Vella.

Plate favorite heads east

Probable Queen's Plate favorite Wanna Runner worked six furlongs in 1:13.20 at Santa Anita on Tuesday

"It was a nice steady work," said trainer Bob Baffert. "I worked him seven-eighths; they got him three-quarters, though. He went about a mile, 1:39 and change."

Wanna Runner was to be flown to Belmont on Wednesday along with Belmont Stakes candidate Bob and John, and should ship from there to Woodbine sometime next week.

"I'm going to send him up there to Mike Doyle," said Baffert. "If you've got to be early, you might as well be real early.

"We'll give him a work over the track."

All prospective entrants for the Queen's Plate must be at the track by 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, June 20, 48 hours prior to the deadline for entries, in order to be subjected to Woodbine's new big-race surveillance program.

* The field for Sunday's $500,000 Woodbine Oaks will be announced at a special ceremonial draw beginning at 12 p.m. here Thursday in the trackside tent.