09/14/2006 11:00PM

Remarkable News fast and consistent

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Remarkable News, with Javier Castellano up, wins the 2006 Fourstardave at Saratoga Race Course.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Remarkable News is the main front-runner in Sunday's Grade 1, $1 million , and that, coupled with his consistent record and determination, makes him the one to beat.

Run for the 10th time, the Woodbine Mile headlines a blockbuster 11-race card, which also includes two other outstanding turf stakes, the Grade 2 Canadian and the Grade 3 Summer.

There are two guaranteed Win 4 (pick four) wagers on the program. The first encompasses races 4-7 and has a guaranteed pool of $50,000. The second, which includes the Woodbine Mile, goes from races 6-9 and has a guaranteed pool of $100,000.

Remarkable News, a Venezuelan-bred 4-year-old, has won 6 of 9 starts, including the Grade 3 Connaught Cup Stakes here May 28. He came from midpack when he finished second in the Grade 3 Poker Handicap on July 2 at Belmont, and he set slow fractions when he scored by 2 1/2 lengths in the Grade 2 Fourstardave Handicap on Aug. 6 at Saratoga, for which he received a 107 Beyer Speed Figure.

"He's a very adaptable horse," said trainer Angel Penna Jr. "I haven't seen a trip that he can't handle. He's a warrior. He gives it his all every time he runs."

Le Cinquieme Essai, Woodbine's top turf miler, is sidelined with an injury and will miss the race, but it is interesting to compare how several of the Woodbine Mile competitors fared against him.

Le Cinquieme Essai was a close second in both the Connaught and the Aug. 5 Sea O'Erin BC Handicap at Arlington. Therecomesatiger won the Sea O'Erin, and his recent works suggest he could be peaking in time for Sunday's engagement.

Le Cinquieme Essai held off the closing California shipper Becrux to capture the seven-furlong Grade 2 Play the King Stakes here Aug. 26. Becrux has remained at Woodbine since then, and his familiarity with the local surroundings should be an asset.

In his first start as a gelding, Becrux defeated next-out winners Stormin Away and Unfurl the Flag in the July 29 Wickerr Handicap at Del Mar. Trainer Neil Drysdale has saddled the first-place finisher in three runnings of the Woodbine Mile, including in 2003 with Touch of the Blues, who was coming off a victory in the one-mile Wickerr.

"I like the way [Becrux] is coming up to the race," Drysdale said. "He's improving as we go along."

Ad Valorem is one of two European invaders in the field, along with Vanderlin.

Trained by Aidan O'Brien, Ad Valorem won the Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes over good-to-firm footing in his penultimate start at Ascot. He could only manage fifth over soft ground most recently, in a Group 1 fixture in France.

"He wants fast ground," O'Brien said. "He got it at Ascot and won the Queen Anne."

The well-traveled Vanderlin prevailed in the 2005 Play the King, before finishing a distant but troubled fourth in the Woodbine Mile. His lone win this year came in a listed race over Lingfield's all-weather surface, and he was recently seventh in the Group 1 Sussex Stakes.

"He came out of his last race a little sore," said trainer Andrew Balding. "We put some oil on his joints, and he's doing quite well."

New York shippers Rebel Rebel, Three Valleys, and Diamond Green are all in with a shot.

Rebel Rebel was 2 1/4 lengths clear of Remarkable News in the one-mile Poker, for which he got a 104 Beyer. He finished second in the Group 1 2000 Guineas in England last year.

"It seems like a mile around one turn is his best game," said trainer Richard Dutrow Jr.

Three Valleys beat Rebel Rebel when he won the Grade 3 Oceanport Stakes following a 10-month layoff Aug. 6. He won the Grade 2 Del Mar BC Handicap last summer and has earned a triple-digit Beyer in four of his five North American appearances.

Diamond Green, like Three Valleys, is trained by Bobby Frankel, who won the 2000 Woodbine Mile with 10-1 shot Riviera. Diamond Green comes off a third-place finish in the Fourstardave and was previously third here in the Grade 2 King Edward BC Stakes.

Sweet Return chased home North America's leading turf miler, Aragorn, in each of his last two starts at Del Mar. He is 0 for 5 in U.S. races outside of California.

The New Zealand-bred Captain Kurt ran strongly in his North American debut, finishing a fast-closing second in an allowance at Del Mar.

Ballast won a key allowance at Saratoga the last time he saw action.

The Woodbine-based longshots Dalavin and Shoal Water round out the field.