07/31/2005 11:00PM

Rock Again dangerous on stretch-out


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - A $100,000 optional claiming race headed by Rock Again highlights Wednesday's seven-race card at Woodbine. The program also includes a $100,000 claiming race for 3-year-olds.

Rock Again, a 5-year-old owned by Stronach Stable, was sidelined for nearly a year after finishing third behind Wando and Mobil in the 2003 Queen's Plate. He returned to action in May 2004, winning a second-level allowance and finishing third in the Grade 3 Eclipse Handicap, before being sidelined for another year.

Rock Again resurfaced with trainer Bobby Frankel on May 29 and was beaten a nose by Sophia's Prince, who came back to win a classified allowance with a 100 Beyer Speed Figure. Most recently, in another $80,000 optional claimer on July 10, Rock Again finished third as the favorite in a predictable regression off his sharp layoff performance.

In Wednesday's feature, Rock Again will stretch out from seven furlongs to 1 1/16 miles, a distance at which he has two wins in three starts. Todd Kabel, 3 for 7 aboard Frankel-trained runners at the meeting, picks up the mount.

Sky Diamond is the other main contender in the race. A bargain $40,000 claim last summer by owner Roger Patten and trainer Sid Attard, Sky Diamond has won five races and more than $200,000 since being claimed.

Sky Diamond launched his current campaign with a victory in an $80,000 turf race. He subsequently won a 1 1/8-mile allowance on the main track, but is coming off a dismal display going 1 1/4 miles in the Grade 3 Dominion Day Handicap.

Apprentice Corey Fraser, second in the jockey standings, has the mount on Sky Diamond.

Royalty Boy, winner of the 2004 Manitoba Lotteries Derby, is also in the field. He also threw craps in the Dominion Day, and will compete with Lasix for the first time here with Jim McAleney riding for trainer Joe Walls.

Singin Devil and Lakeville Rush will square off in Wednesday's fifth race, a $100,000 claimer for 3-year-olds at seven furlongs.

Singin Devil won four starts in a row before a pair of respectable efforts against some salty older opposition in his two most recent outings. He was second to Chris's Bad Boy, the local track-record holder at six furlongs, on June 24, and ran against a speed bias when fourth in a July 13 allowance.

Lakeville Rush romped in a six-furlong allowance in April, then won a second-level allowance on the grass June 8. Last time on the grass, in the Charlie Barley Handicap, he faded after getting bumped at the head of the stretch.