11/07/2007 12:00AM

Plenty of invaders for Maple Leaf

EmailETOBICOKE, Ontario - It turns out that Monashee, who shipped in from Vancouver to attempt to solidify her case for a Sovereign Award, will not be the only serious invader in Saturday's Maple Leaf Stakes.

Cryptoquip, I'm In Love, and Dancing Band all will be checking in from south of the border for the $175,000 Maple Leaf, a 1 1/4-mile race for fillies and mares that has attracted a field of 12.

Cryptoquip, an Ohio-bred 4-year-old owned by Elisabeth Alexander, is trained by Graham Motion, while I'm In Love, a 4-year-old owned by Namcook Stable LLC, is trained by Kiaran McLaughlin. Dancing Band, a 4-year-old owned by Howard Roberts Farm, is trained by Niall O'Callaghan.

Motion, who is based at Fair Hill, Md., has a 6-for-21 record with his stakes shippers here, with his latest being Globetrotter, who won the Grade 3 Grey on Oct. 8.

McLaughlin, currently based at Belmont, also has been represented by 21 stakes starters here. Three were winners, the latest being Shakespeare in the Grade 1 Woodbine Mile on Sept. 16.

O'Callaghan, whose current headquarters are at Churchill Downs, is 3 for 11 with his stakes shippers here and won the 2000 Maple Leaf with On a Soapbox.

Crytoquip is coming into the Maple Leaf off a 7 1/2-length romp in the Ohio Distaff, a 1 1/8-mile race for statebred fillies and mares at Beulah Park on Oct. 6.

The Ohio Distaff was the third career stakes win for Cryptoquip, who last year captured the Grade 3 Arlington Oaks and the restricted Queen City Oaks at River Downs over the same 1 1/8-mile distance.

Cryptoquip finished eighth making her only start over a synthetic surface. But that effort came in a 6 1/2-furlong allowance race at Keeneland this April, her first start in almost six months.

"That was sprinting, which probably wouldn't be her game," said Motion, who trains his horses over the artificial Tapeta surface at Fair Hill. "She does seem to handle it quite well in the morning, which sometimes can be a little misleading. But I think the mile and a quarter will suit her, and the timing is good from her last race."

Todd Kabel, Motion's go-to local rider, has the mount on Cryptoquip.

I'm In Love's latest effort was a second-place finish in the Grade 3 Athenia, which was run at 1 1/16 miles on yielding turf at Belmont Oct.o13.

Bred in Kentucky, I'm In Love raced in England at 2 and 3 and won her maiden and a handicap in three tries over Lingfield's Polytrack surface last year.

In her lone try on Polytrack since relocating to North America, I'm In Love finished a close second in a 1 1/16-mile, third-level optional claiming race at Keeneland on April 13.

Patrick Husbands, the leading stakes-winning rider at the Woodbine meeting, will be aboard I'm In Love.

Dancing Band has made all 16 of her career starts on turf and will be seeking her first stakes win in the Maple Leaf.

In her last appearance, at Keeneland on Oct. 13, Dancing Band finished third in a classified allowance at 1 1/16 miles on grass.

Jono Jones will ride Dancing Band.

Globetrotter could start in Display

Globetrotter, a Florida-bred colt owned by Earle Mack, could return for the $125,000 Display, a 1 1/16-mile race for 2-year-olds on Nov. 24. The winner of a maiden race over the Tapeta surface at Presque Isle Downs in his only appearance prior to the Grey, Globetrotter would become eligible for Sovereign Award consideration with a start in the Display under new criteria established this year.

The revised rule requires 2-year-olds to have made a minimum of two starts in Canada during the current season prior to the Nov. 25 cutoff date for eligibility.

A three-start minimum remains in place for the other age divisions.

Motion eyeing next weekend's stakes

In the meantime, Motion has potential candidates for both the Autumn and Glorious Song here next weekend.

Flight Captain, Independent George, and Kona Blend are the Motion nominees for the Grade 3, $150,000 Autumn, a 1 1/16-mile race for 3-year-olds and upward.

"There's a possibility that I'll bring Independent George," Motion said.

Independent George, a Kentucky-bred 4-year-old gelding owned by Bushwood Stable, became a stakes winner at Presque Isle Downs on Sept. 15 and then came back to finish a respectable fourth in the Grade 1 Shadwell Turf Mile at Keeneland on Oct. 6.

Initiation is scheduled to participate in the $125,000 Glorious Song, a seven-furlong race for 2-year-old fillies.

A Kentucky-bred owned by Augustin Stable, Initiation finished a good fourth when making just her second career start in the Grade 1 Alcibiades at Keeneland on Oct. 5.

In her debut, Initiation was a 10-length winner of a six-furlong maiden race at Laurel.

Queen's Plate broadcast returning to CBC

Woodbine's Queen's Plate will be returning to the CBC television network next year.

On Wednesday, CBC Sports announced a four-year broadcast agreement with Woodbine Entertainment Group. CBC, which last televised the Queen's Plate in 1998, also will show the race in high-definition format for the first time.

"We are delighted to see the Queen's Plate, Canada's most historic sporting event, return to Canada's national public broadcaster," Nick Eaves, president and chief operating officer of Woodbine Entertainment Group, said in a press release. "The CBC will capture the excitement of this great race and bring it back into the living rooms of viewers across the country."

Scott Moore, executive director of CBC Sports, said: "The Queen's Plate is a Canadian institution that has both a great history and an exciting future, and the opportunity to welcome this prestigious race back to our network, showcasing the excitement of Thoroughbred racing, is wonderful news for viewers and for CBC."

The Queen's Plate, a 1 1/4-mile race for Canadian-bred 3-year-olds, offers a purse of $1 million and is the first leg of Canada's Triple Crown. This year's Queen's Plate was run June 24. Next year's Woodbine stakes schedule has not been announced.