11/13/2002 12:00AM

Plenty of back class


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Stakes-placed Mark One heads Friday's Woodbine feature, a $74,400 nonwinners-of-two-other-than allowance.

Mark One, a strapping gray gelding by Alphabet Soup, took a few races to get his act together. He won his maiden by six lengths in his sixth start on July 19, and then captured an Aug 17 preliminary allowance.

Trainer Roger Attfield ran Mark One in the nine-furlong McLaughlin Handicap on Sept. 14, and had to be pleased with his second-place finish behind outsider Early Wisdom. He earned a 99 Beyer Speed Figure in the Grade 3 stakes, along with second money of $32,940.

Mark One was bet down to 4-5 in a similar allowance a month ago, in which he raced four wide throughout while behind a slow pace. He took dead aim at front-running Open Concert in the stretch, but came up two lengths short while holding second.

Facing off against Mark One in Thursday's 1 1/16-mile race will be Ford Every Stream, Florida Recount, Bronze Bayou, Gone Courting, Rattle Dem Bones, Majestic Warlock, Ocean Front, and Merlin's Moon.

Ford Every Stream, a nicely bred Sam-Son Farm runner, ran two superb winning races in the spring, when it looked like he could be any kind. Off his third-place finish in the Grade 3 Marine Stakes in May, he was favored in the June 23 Queen's Plate, but had to settle for fourth after a wide trip.

Ford Every Stream went on vacation after finishing far back in the July 21 Prince of Wales Stakes at Fort Erie. He was a fading sixth as the favorite, when he came off the bench in an Oct. 26 allowance at Keeneland.

Bronze Bayou most recently cruised to an 11-length score over $62,500 claimers going 1 1/16 miles Oct. 31, for which he was awarded a 99 Beyer. He has captured 3 of 10 starts for trainer Bob Tiller, who saddled three winners last Sunday.

Florida Recount, claimed for $50,000 from Tiller by trainer Sid Attard three races back, was second in a seven-furlong dash at this level Oct. 25. A son of Grindstone, he has yet to compete around two turns, but is well suited to the task from a pedigree perspective.

Merlin's Moon encountered traffic problems while closing in the stretch to finish third last time in a nine-furlong turf allowance. He is winless this year, but seems equally adept on either surface, and could make his presence felt.

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