10/27/2008 11:00PM

Pool Play's turf ability unknown


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Pool Play was scratched from a 1 1/16-mile race on the Polytrack last Sunday after drawing post 14. He was entered in a first-level allowance scheduled for the grass on Thursday, and probably would benefit the most of all in the field if the 1o1/8-mile race was moved to the Polytrack - a possibility given the rain the turf course absorbed last weekend.

Pool Play, trained by Mark Casse, finished second in his first two starts, both going six furlongs. He had a trouble in the stretch when third behind the gifted Timely Advice in a seven-furlong maiden special Sept. 4.

Most recently, Pool Play moved out to 1 1/8 miles and upset this year's Queen's Plate third-place finisher Solitaire, who returned to win a maiden special on the grass at Belmont. Pool Play was awarded an 87 Beyer Speed Figure, covering the 1 1/8 miles in 1:51.

Pool Play has yet to run on the grass, and has minimal breeding for that surface. A hot Patrick Husbands, second in the Woodbine jockey standings, will ride him.

Lion Ridge will be well backed if the race stays on the turf. He wasn't competitive during his formative years in Europe, but won his local debut in a maiden special in June.

Following a two-month layoff, Lion Ridge wound up second in a 1 1/2-mile allowance behind Spice Route, who went on to run second in the Grade 1 Canadian International. Lion Ridge then was upset by Forty Creek last time out in a 1 3/8-mile allowance.

River Heights and Captain Mark ran second and third in a one-mile allowance Oct. 12.

River Heights has finished second or third in 15 of 28 starts and is obviously an excellent prospect for the bottom of exotic wagers. He found the distance too far when he recorded a rare clunker in the race in which Forty Creek upset Lion Ridge.

Captain Mark was a beaten favorite twice before he finally won his maiden going a mile over yielding ground Sept. 13. He rallied belatedly Oct. 1, in a race that was dominated by front-runner Jimmy Simms.

Simmard earned a 90 Beyer running second to the undefeated Singing Saint in his next-to-last race in August. He was never in the hunt in Jimmy Simms's score, which came after a layoff.