05/09/2002 11:00PM

Ruby Park fresh for this year's Hendrie


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Sunday's George C. Hendrie Handicap was not the spot of choice for Ruby Park.

"I was actually aiming her for an allowance sprint, which we haven't been able to get," said Josie Carroll, who trains Ruby Park for owners Eugene and Laura Melnyk. "I was hoping to go from there to the Ballade," a six-furlong stakes for Ontario-sired fillies and mares here June 12.

A 5-year-old by Bold Ruckus, Ruby Park finished second last year in both the Hendrie and the Ballade. She was beaten a neck on each occasion by Mysterious Affair, who again is among her opponents Sunday.

Last year, Ruby Park had raced before the Hendrie, at Fair Grounds during the winter and here in the six-furlong Whimsical, in which she finished third. The Hendrie will be her first start of this year.

"I gave her the winter off, just to freshen her," said Carroll.

Ruby Park wintered at Eugene Melnyk's Winding Oaks Farm.

Carroll acknowledges that the Hendrie will be a tough spot for Ruby Park.

"It looks like there'll be a wicked pace," she said. "And she's going to be very sharp. It may be hard to keep her off the lead."

But Ruby Park will not be participating in the Hendrie just to get a race under her belt, Carroll said.

"I wouldn't put her in there if she didn't have a chance to win it," said Carroll. "She's in good order; she's training as good as she's ever trained."

Promising colt euthanized

Carroll and owner-breeder Thor Eaton have suffered a blow with the news that Chandra Prakash would be euthanized.

Earlier this week, Chandra Prakash was sent to the veterinary clinic at the nearby University of Guelph, where spinal damage was discovered.

Chandra Prakash, a 3-year-old colt who had been considered a prospect for the Queen's Plate, was pulled up in the stretch during last week's Queenston Stakes.

Chandra Prakash raced five times, winning two of his first three starts, which came at Fair Grounds, and then finishing fourth here in the Achievement Handicap.

Intensifying the loss for Eaton was that Einherjar, the son of Secretariat who sired Chandra Prakash, had to be euthanized last week after injuring himself in his stall at Eaton Hall Farm.

Early retirement

Carroll's filly troops were thinned earlier this year when Boston Twist, Southey, and Serena's Tune all were retired to the breeding shed.

Boston Twist, a 3-year-old owned by Bill Schettine, was injured while preparing for her 3-year-old debut at Fair Grounds, and is in foal to Deputy Minister. A Kentucky-bred by Boston Harbor, Boston Twist won three of five starts last year, including Woodbine's seven-furlong Glorious Song Stakes, and earned $130,884.

Southey, a 3-year-old owned by Jim and Alice Sapara, was injured during her second-place finish in Turfway Park's March 23 Bourbonette and is in foal to Fusaichi Pegasus. A Virginia-bred by Broad Brush, Southey won just one of nine starts but finished second five times and third once while banking $125,846.

Serena's Tune, a 4-year-old by Mr. Prospector and the first foal of Serena's Song, won four times after being transferred to Carroll here last summer. She retired sound and was bred to Storm Cat after capturing the March 16 Victoria Lass at Fair Grounds.

Wake at Noon to Met Mile

, 3 for 3 in stakes here this spring while passing $1 million in career earnings, is slated to head to New York for the May 27 Met Mile. Regular rider Emile Ramsammy has the mount on Wake at Noon for the Grade 1, $750,000 Memorial Day feature at Belmont.

Wake at Noon, owned by Bruno Schickedanz and trained by Abraham Katryan, defeated Exciting Story, last year's Met Mile winner, here in the recent Vigil Handicap.

Exciting Story, owned by Mockingbird Farm and trained by Mark Casse, had defeated Wake at Noon in the 2001 Vigil prior to his Met Mile upset.

Casse said Exciting Story is nominated to this year's Met Mile and is a possible participant.

Dos Ramos returning

Richard Dos Ramos, who has been out since March 24 after suffering a broken bone in his ankle during a paddock mishap, is scheduled to be back galloping horses Monday, according to his agent, Lorne Spearman.

"We're looking to return by next weekend, hopefully," said Spearman.

Dos Ramos is the regular rider of both Mysterious Affair and Ginger Gold, who is a leading candidate for the June 8 Canadian Oaks.

Training on turf

The turf training course is scheduled to open Sunday, but rain is in the forecast and could delay the opening.

Turf training Sunday would be restricted to horses nominated for the Connaught Cup and Nassau. The course will continue to be open Sundays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, weather permitting.

The Grade 3 Connaught Cup, the first turf stakes of the meeting, is a $150,000, 1 1/16-mile race for 4-year-olds and upward here May 25. The Grade 2 Nassau, a $250,000, 1 1/16-mile turf race for fillies and mares, will be run June 2.

The first scheduled turf race, the seven-furlong Connaught Cup prep, is booked for May 17. The one-mile Nassau prep is slated for May 18.