04/22/2004 12:00AM

San Diego Blowout is back


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - The road to the $1 million Queen's Plate begins Saturday at Woodbine in the Woodstock Stakes, a six-furlong dash won last year by Wando, who went on to capture the Canadian Triple Crown.

A field of seven 3-year-olds was drawn for the $137,375 event. Two of them are eligible for the June 27 Queen's Plate, which is restricted to Canadian-breds.

San Diego Blowout, a speedy Kentucky-bred, may be the one to beat in the Woodstock. He won his first two career outings last summer by 7 1/4 lengths each, including the six-furlong Colin Stakes, but was soundly beaten in his two fall races.

Trainer Abraham Katryan said he had San Diego Blowout gelded during the off-season.

"Last year, he had a rough campaign after he won his first two races," Katryan said. "He seemed to be going a little funky in behind, so we gelded him over the winter. Since then, he's been a different horse."

San Diego Blowout spent the winter at the Palm Meadows Training Center in south Florida.

"We should have a [fitness] edge after taking him south," Katryan said. "He came back here in excellent condition. I've breezed him here twice, and he worked like gangbusters both times. He went a half-mile in 47 and change on the training track, and went five-eighths in 58 on the main track."

Night Sky and Nyuk Nyuk Nyuk are the two Woodstock entrants with Queen's Plate aspirations.

Night Sky won both of his 2-year-old outings, including the Sunny's Halo Stakes. He also trained at Palm Meadows over the winter, and had a quick five-furlong breeze here over the main track on Monday, going in 1:00 while bucking a stiff headwind in the stretch. Danny Vella trains.

Nyuk Nyuk Nyuk stayed north of the border during the off-season. Trained by Bob Tiller, he received a solid 87 Beyer for taking his only start with an eye-catching wide rally.

Also in the Woodstock lineup are Begborrowanddeal, Estevan, O Zone Layer, and Imperial Alydeed.

Begborrowanddeal is a serious contender. Trained by Reade Baker, Begborrowanddeal earned Beyer Figures of 83 and 87 in two of his four juvenile starts, with the 87 coming in a narrow allowance loss to Judiths Wild Rush, who won a stakes next out.

Baker gave Begborrowanddeal six weeks off after the gelding's last race, then put him back in training in mid-January in Florida.

"This is his Plate," Baker said.

Estevan graduated by 24 lengths in his second start at 2, and is coming off a fifth-place finish in his season opener in a Keeneland allowance.