10/31/2006 1:00AM

Rain puts an end to turf racing for the year


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - There will be no more turf racing here at Woodbine this season.

Although the race office had hoped to offer one turf race each day this Thursday through Sunday before putting the course under wraps, that plan was scrapped because of heavy recent rainfall.

"It's not safe anymore," said Steve Lym, Woodbine's racing secretary.

Four stakes races were scheduled over the turf course here last weekend.

On Saturday, both the Chief Bearhart and the River Memories were run on the main track.

Sunday's Bunty Lawless and Labeeb, both one-mile turf races, were switched to the main track at a mile and 70 yards before the beginning of the program. That card wound up being canceled because of high winds and rescheduled for Thursday.

Under Woodbine rules, horses who were scratched off the program for Sunday's stakes remain scratched for the Thursday reschedulings, and the races will be run over a mile and 70 yards on Polytrack.

The Labeeb scratches were Seaside Retreat - who would not have run in any case, as he participated in the Chief Bearhart - and Patrol.

The Labeeb, being an overnight stakes, did not have to be rescheduled but will be the third race on Thursday.

Top Ten List was scratched from the Bunty Lawless, which is part of the guaranteed stakes program and will go as race 7 in the rare Thursday stakes doubleheader.

The Bunty Lawless and the Labeeb will be the highlights of an extended 10-race card here Thursday. Friday's card also is scheduled for 10 races, with 11 races planned for both Saturday and Sunday to help compensate for the recent cancellation.

Lym also plans to offer an extra race per day next week, beginning with a nine-race card on Wednesday.

Higher percentage of races shifted

According to statistics provided to the Woodbine racing office by Equibase, 170 of Woodbine's 235 turf races were run as scheduled this year, meaning that 65 were switched to either the former dirt track, the temporary inner track, or Polytrack.

Last year, 217 of 259 turf races were run as planned, with 42 moved to the main track.

"I tried to card the same number of races this year," said Lym. "There was a spurt there this summer when some of the better races weren't filling."

Tell It as It Is still in New York

Tell It as It Is, who was left at the altar when last Sunday's one-mile Tempted Stakes was the victim of a cancellation at Aqueduct, has remained in New York and will try again on Friday.

New York, unlike Woodbine, reopens canceled stakes to the original nominees and potential supplements, and was to redraw the race on Wednesday.

Only five 2-year-old fillies had been entered for the original running of the Grade 3, $150,000 Tempted, which was scheduled as the third race on a card canceled after the opener because of rain and wind.

"I was just putting the bridle on her and getting ready to take her over," said Jim Smith, who trains Tempted for the Cinnamont Stable of Richard Lister.

Tell It as It Is, a Kentucky-bred, overcame a poor start to win her only outing, which came over seven furlongs here Sept. 23.

Blanchard taking over the mike

Woodbine's Dan Loiselle will be at Churchill Downs on Friday to participate in All-Star Announcers Day, so backup announcer Greg Blanchard will call the races here Friday and Saturday. Loiselle will return for Sunday's program, which will feature the $250,000 Coronation Futurity.

The prospective field for the Coronation Futurity, a 1 1/8-mile race for Canadian-bred 2-year-olds, is headed by Leonnatus Anteas, who is trained by Kevin Attard.

Leonnatus Anteas has raced twice, winning the Vandal over five furlongs on the inner track here Aug. 13 and the Cup and Saucer over 1 1/16 miles on yielding turf on Oct. 15.

Mike Fox, third as the odds-on choice in the Cup and Saucer, will be looking to make amends for trainer Reade Baker in the Coronation.

Bosskiri needs her rest

Baker also plans to be represented in two stakes here Saturday, with Bosskiri set for the $125,000 Ontario Fashion for fillies and mares and Fire Rock aiming for the $75,000 Sunny's Halo for Ontario-foaled 2-year-olds.

Bosskiri, a 4-year-old multiple stakes winner with a record of 6-0-2 and earnings of $384,279 from 11 starts, is slated to run in the six-furlong Ontario Fashion and then ship out for Keeneland, where she is to be sold on Tuesday.

"She likes the Poly, and she likes the time between races," said Baker, who sent out Bosskiri to win her last start in a fourth-level allowance Sept. 15 in her Polytrack debut off an eight-week layoff.

"She's a big, tough mare, but if you put her in races close together she doesn't seem to run a big race.

"I think she'll run the race of her life on Saturday, but I don't know if that will be good enough to beat Hide and Chic."

Hide and Chic is undefeated in two starts here for Malcolm Pierce, both in stakes, and is coming off into the Ontario Fashion off a second-place finish in the Grade 3, $300,000 Thoroughbred Club of America Oaks at Keeneland on Oct. 14.

Fire Rock, victorious in his five-furlong debut here Oct. 1, will be looking to remain undefeated in the $75,000 Sunny's Halo, a 6 1/2-furlong overnight stakes that will require a minimum of five wagering interests to be carded.

On Tuesday, Fire Rock breezed five furlongs in 1:02.60.

Frostad keeping BC hopeful ready

Catch the Thrill, whose merits somehow escaped the notice of the Breeders' Cup selection committee when it came to the Juvenile Fillies, worked four furlongs in 49.40 seconds here on Tuesday morning.

"We worked her as if she's going," said Mark Frostad, who trains Catch the Thrill for Sam-Son Farm. "We'll still probably enter her."

Entries for the Breeders' Cup races were to be taken Wednesday morning, and Catch the Thrill, an impressive winner of the 1 1/16-mile Princess Elizabeth Stakes, would need several defections to make the lineup.