06/27/2003 11:00PM

Quick Blue comes north again


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Woodbine horseplayers should be wary whenever trainer Linda Rice ships Quick Blue north of the border.

Quick Blue's first successful Ontario raid came in the 2001 Bison City Stakes at Fort Erie, the second leg of the Canadian Triple Tiara. She led throughout that 1 1/16-mile event, which came on the heels of her solid third-place finish in the Labatt Woodbine Oaks.

Quick Blue won the Grade 3 Royal North Handicap here last August, but she never fired over a sloppy track in the Oct. 26 Ontario Fashion Handicap the last time she shipped here. She will compete under conditions similar to the Royal North in Monday's $107,000 Zadracarta Handicap, a six-furlong turf dash, and should be well-backed under Todd Kabel.

Quick Blue is winless in five starts this year, but her two turf efforts at Gulfstream weren't bad - one was a second-place finish in a five-furlong stakes.

Rounding out the field of Canadian-bred distaffers in the Zadracarta will be Alpha Heat, Freedom Come, Marisa Go, Heyahohowdy, Spanish Decree, and Mysterious Affair.

Heyahohowdy was victorious here last year in two restricted turf stakes, the seven-furlong Passing Mood and the one-mile La Prevoyante. She was a distant trailer behind Xtra Heat and Carson Hollow in her lone outing this year over a sloppy track in the Grade 2 Barbara Fritchie Handicap Feb. 22 at Laurel.

Heyahohowdy was recently turned over to trainer Abraham Katryan, who is content with the way she's been training.

"I've had her for about three and a half weeks," said Katryan. "She was a little on the thin side when she first came to me, so we started to put some weight on her. When I worked her the other day, she went nice and comfortably going five-eighths."

Mysterious Affair, who is closing in on the $1 million mark in earnings, finished second in the 2002 Royal North and was a close third in the 2002 Zadracarta. She has a pair of runner-up placings to her credit in four starts this year while competing exclusively on dirt.

Marisa Go won last year's Zadracarta with an eye-catching wide rally, but she hasn't been a factor in either of her two races this year, both on the main track.

Stronach Stables sends out the uncoupled duo of Freedom Come, a speedy daughter of Lit de Justice who has yet to try turf, and Alpha Heat, who is seeking her third straight victory.