09/12/2007 11:00PM

Remarkable News brings hot 2007 record into Mile

EmailETOBICOKE, Ontario - Remarkable News came up short last year in his first attempt at the Woodbine Mile, battling from flagfall to midstretch before yielding late to finish fifth.

"It was too fast a pace, and he was eyeballing them up there," said Angel Penna Jr., who trains Remarkable News for Holly Rincon.

"It was a tough race for him; he doesn't need to do that. Obviously, it got to him a little bit. He hung in there, but he tired in the last sixteenth of a mile. I was very disappointed."

On Sunday, Remarkable News will return for the Grade 1, $1 million Woodbine Mile with what Penna hopes will be a new attitude.

"He's been running great this year," said Penna, from his Belmont Park base. "He's settled a bit. He's a more mature horse, rather than a better horse."

Remarkable News comes into the Woodbine Mile as a winner of 3 of 4 starts this year, including the Gradeo2 Dixie at Pimlico and the Grade 2 Firecracker at Churchill.

Jockey Ramon Dominguez took over aboard Remarkable News for those last two wins, and the horse and rider will be looking to extend their streak in the Woodbine Mile.

The Firecracker, however, was run on June 30, and Remarkable News has not raced in the interim.

Remarkable News was slated to run in the Fourstardave, a 1 1/16-mile turf race at Saratoga on Aug. 5, but was unable to keep that engagement after suffering a bout of colic.

"More than anything, it was the heat," said Penna. "It was brutal, oppressive. He recovered right away, but we had to medicate him, and he wasn't able to run that soon."

The fact that Remarkable News will be making is first appearance in 11 weeks obviously is a concern to Penna.

"It's going to be extremely tough competition, and you'd like the sharpness of having a race four or five weeks before," said Penna. "But, the horse obviously runs well fresh.

"In this game, sometimes you just have to do what you have to do, and this is the way it worked out."

Been here, done well

Remarkable News actually will be making his third trip to Woodbine, having recorded his first career stakes victory when nosing out fellow Woodbine Mile contestant Le Cinquieme Essai in the Connaught Cup here last May.

The Connaught Cup was the second local win for Penna, who had won with the mare Que Puntual in the Grade 2 Nassau here in the spring of 2005.

Dominguez has enjoyed plenty of success here, with six stakes wins, including last year's Grade 2 Canadian with Ready's Gal and Grade 2 Sky Classic with Better Talk Now.

Dominguez was here this year to ride Street Sounds in all three legs of the triple tiara for Canadian-bred 3-year-old fillies.

Street Sounds finished second in the Bison City, the middle leg of the series, but was promoted to first place upon the disqualification of Sealy Hill.

Essential Edge opts for Canadian

For a time, trainer Eric Coatrieux had considered running the filly Essential Edge in the Woodbine Mile.

But, as the Woodbine Mile shaped up with a strong field that showed no signs of cracking, Coatrieux reconsidered.

"The Mile looks like a really, really hot race," said Coatrieux.

Fortunately, Coatrieux had a ready option and will send out Essential Edge in the Grade 2, $300,000 Canadian, a 1 1/8-mile turf race for fillies and mares here Sunday.

Essential Edge, a Kentucky-bred 4-year-old who became a stakes winner here last summer in the one-mile Ontario Colleen, was winless in six subsequent starts before rediscovering how to win in the Belle Geste on Aug. 25.

The Belle Geste, a seven-furlong turf race for Ontario-foaled fillies and mares, was a step down in class for Essential Edge, and she performed accordingly.

"It looks like her last race did her confidence some good," said Coatrieux. "Sunday's mile-and-an-eighth distance is always an issue, whether she can go that far. But the only other option I'd have with her would be to go to the States, and she's not an easy horse to ship."

Essential Edge has tried 1 1/8 miles on turf twice, finishing third in last fall's Carotene and a close fifth in this summer's Dance Smartly.

Coatrieux had planned to field a second Canadian entrant - Nottawasaga, another Kentucky-bred 4-year-old whom he trains for Chiefswood Stable. But the filly was ailing on Thursday morning.

Mile on national TV

Live television coverage of the Woodbine Mile will be available across Canada on The Score in a 90-minute show beginning at 4 p.m.

There also will be taped coverage of Sunday's supporting features, the Canadian and Summer.

Jim Bannon, Jeff Bratt, Sandy Hawley, and Renee Kierans will provide commentary and analysis.

Features will include hometown Woodbine Mile hopeful Le Cinquieme Essai and trainer Neil Drysdale's successful history in the race.

Rob Platts is the producer and Matt Taylor the director.

* Retired jockey and Hall of Famer Jerry Bailey will be on hand to sign autographs and meet racing fans from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. here Sunday on the third floor of the grandstand.