11/21/2006 12:00AM

Plenty of speed to set up closers


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - The abundance of speed in Thursday's seventh race at Woodbine could set the table for closers Silver Gun and Dashing Admiral. The race, a $40,000 claimer for 3-year-olds and upward, has a field of 10 and will be run at six furlongs.

Silver Gun was claimed by trainer Tino Attard for $40,000 in August and went on to capture a seven-furlong grass sprint at that price Sept.o29. Since then, he has run two good races on the Polytrack, finishing a troubled second against $50,000 opposition Oct. 11 and rallying to finish third behind Nyuk Nyuk Nyuk in a slow-paced $50,000 dash Nov. 10.

Leading rider Emma-Jayne Wilson has the mount on Silver Gun, a son of champion sprinter Lit de Justice.

Dashing Admiral is a turf specialist who has enjoyed the move to the Polytrack. He began the year with two defeats on the main track, but moved back to turf and won a $40,000 claimer with a career-high 87 Beyer Speed Figure on June 21. After finishing seventh at the same level off a two-month break, Dashing Admiral returned Sept. 29 and finished third to Silver Gun in a grass sprint. He has made his last two starts on the Polytrack, nosing out Nyuk Nyuk Nyuk in his Polytrack debut Oct. 26 and winning two weeks later with a $32,000 tag.

Since the beginning of 2005, Dashing Admiral's trainer, Sid Attard, has a 29 percent win rate with horses coming off consecutive wins, with a positive return on investment.

Sonoma Storm could be the dominant speed Thursday. Trainer Don Schnell has run him at six different tracks this year, during which Sonoma Storm has won 4 of 12 starts for earnings of $87,177.

Sonoma Storm scored in an allowance and an optional claimer at Prairie Meadows this spring, receiving a 94 Beyer in the allowance. He wired $50,000 claimers Oct. 11 in his local debut, but was less effective next time out in a difficult $80,000 optional claimer, finishing fifth behind two stakes winners and Victoria's Boy. Sonoma Storm couldn't keep up with the swift Stradivinsky in another $80,000 contest Nov. 5, fading badly in the stretch and finishing 10th.

Northern Candy should be prominent from the outset. He pressed the pace before weakening to second in Dashing Admiral's last win.

Handsome King is dropping off a dull effort at the $62,500 optional claiming level. He figures to track the leaders on the outside under David Clark, who was aboard for his Sept. 23 victory in a first-level allowance.

Feather Bed Lane wasn't far behind Silver Gun in fifth after going wide in his last appearance.