07/01/2005 11:00PM

Ready and Alluring tough as Gold Strike sits out


FORT ERIE, Ontario - Ready and Alluring was no match for Gold Strike but was much the best of the others in the Labatt Woodbine Oaks on June 12.

And with Gold Strike having run third last Sunday in the Queen's Plate and not running on Monday, Ready and Alluring will be an odds-on choice and the probable winner of the $250,000 Labatt Bison City.

The 1 1/16-mile Bison City, which follows the 1 1/8-mile Oaks as the second leg of the triple tiara for Canadian-bred 3-year-old fillies, attracted a field of six. All carry 121 pounds.

Owned and bred by Bill Sorokolit, Ready and Alluring is based at Belmont Park with trainer Randy Schulhofer and returned there after the Oaks.

Ready and Alluring, who finished third in her debut at Gulfstream in March, came into the Oaks off a 16 1/2-length win in a 1 1/16-mile maiden special weights at Belmont. The Oaks was only her third career start, her first around two turns, and her first in a stakes race.

"It was a very good effort," said Schulhofer. "She should improve a little bit off that race. We haven't got to the bottom of her yet."

Ready and Alluring, who was scheduled to arrive at Fort Erie on Sunday, will have a new rider in Todd Kabel, who will be seeking his third Bison City score.

Trainer Reade Baker sent out five fillies for the Oaks, including Gold Strike, and is coming back with Whiskey and Low and River Nore in here.

Whiskey and Low finished fourth in the Oaks at 55-1, while River Nore, who was coming off a win in Woodbine's seven-furlong Fury, was ninth of 10 as the 8-1 fourth choice.

"I expect better things from both of them," said Baker. "Both of them will be closer to the pace. They were much farther back than I wanted them to be last time. That kind of put them right out of the race."

Jim McAleney, who rode Gold Strike in the Oaks, regains the mount on River Nore. Chris Griffith, who is based here, picks up the ride on Whiskey and Low.

Baker won last year's Bison City with 6-1 shot Touchnow and the 1999 running with Synchronized at 37-1 under local rider Tyrone Harding.

Meanwhile, trainer David Bell is seeking his fourth Bison City win with Victorious Ami, who ran third in the Oaks under regular rider Emile Ramsammy. Bell added blinkers to her equipment for that race.

"She still didn't fire like Emile and I think she can, but she's obviously on the improve big-time," Bell said.

Rounding out the field are Skippingalltheway, who will be making her stakes debut, and longshot Good as Gold.