07/02/2001 12:00AM

Seagram showdown on horizon


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - The early outlook for the $125,000 Seagram Cup on Aug. 5. is particularly interesting, as the connections of both Exciting Story and Kiss a Native are eyeing the 1 1/16-mile race.

Exciting Story, coming off his upset victory in Belmont's Met Mile, was expected to make short work of five rivals when he switched to turf for a one-mile money allowance here last Saturday. But Exciting Story failed to seriously threaten as the 1-2 choice under Patrick Husbands.

"He's a horse who gets exhausted after a race," said Mark Casse, who trains Exciting Story for the Mockingbird Farm of Harry T. Mangurian Jr. "But after this race, it was just like nothing ever happened.

"Patrick said he traveled over the grass fine. I think the horse was confused by it all, maybe.

"I'd love to try him on grass again, but I probably won't."

Casse already had begun the day on a disappointing note when Prime Timber, the 5-year-old whom he trains for Sez Who Racing, was a vet scratch from what was to be his local bow.

"I schooled him in the paddock last Thursday, and he got shook up over there," said Casse.

"He was jumping around, and he whacked his ankle a little bit. There was a little bit of filling, and I didn't want to run him if there was any doubt in my mind."

Prime Timber was back training Sunday and Casse now will seek out another spot.

"I'm not in any big rush," he said. "We bought him as a stallion prospect, and I just want to run him a few times."

Kiss a Native, who was Canada's champion 3-year-old last year for owner John Franks and trainer David Bell, worked six furlongs in 1:13.40 on the fast main track here Monday morning as he continues to prepare for his 2001 bow.

No double this time

Trainer Roger Attfield had just finished watching the simulcast of A Fleets Dancer's victory in Woodbine's Dominion Day Handicap on Sunday when he turned his attention to the live scene at Fort Erie.

But there would be no story-book double on this occasion as Poetically, the 3-year-old filly whom Attfield trains for the Kinghaven Farm of David Willmot, had to settle for second behind front-running Quick Blue in the Bison City.

"That filly kind of stole it on us a little bit," said Attfield. "She was a little more race-fit, but my filly ran well."

With the next potential local stakes spot for Poetically being the seven-furlong Duchess Aug. 11, Attfield could be looking out of town for the filly's next start.

A Fleets Dancer, a 6-year-old horse whom Attfield trains for Cam Allard, also may be going on the road following his impressive win in the 1 1/4-mile Dominion Day. The next appropriate stakes spot here for A Fleets Dancer would be the Seagram Cup.

Fly for Avie is back

Bell also is pleased at being reunited with Fly for Avie, the 6-year-old mare whom he trains for Franks.

Fly for Avie was the upset winner of the Grade 1 E.P. Taylor here last year before finishing a respectable sixth when making what was to be her last start in the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf. But she was put back in training after she lost her Theatrical foal during the mare reproductive loss syndrome crisis in Kentucky and returned to Bell at Woodbine last month.

"She didn't let down," said Bell, who sent out Fly for Avie to breeze three furlongs on the main track here last Saturday. She went in 36.80 seconds.

"Some broodmares get big and fat, but she looks as good as she's ever looked. She's training aggressively; she doesn't seem to have lost that edge."

Bell is hoping to get Fly for Avie to the Canadian Handicap, a 1 1/8-mile turf race here Sept. 9, and proceed to the $500,000 E.P. Taylor, a 1 1/4-mile turf race here Sept. 30.

One Way Love getting ready

One Way Love, Canada's champion sprinter and older male last season, also breezed three furlongs on the main track here last Saturday, going in 38.20 seconds.

Owned by Bruno Schickedanz and John Hillier and trained by Abraham Katryan, One Way Love had been in training at Classic Mile Farm in Florida and returned to Woodbine last week.

A 6-year-old, One Way Love could resurface in the 6 1/2-furlong Bold Venture here July 21 or travel to Saratoga for the six-furlong Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap Aug. 5.

Wake at Noon, coming off a second-place finish for Schickedanz and Katryan in Belmont's True North, also is a candidate for the Grade 2 Vanderbilt but could instead race in the Grade 3 Philadelphia Park Breeders' Cup Handicap, a six-furlong race July 28.

* Wild Years, who didn't run as scheduled in the June 24 Queen's Plate, won his maiden by a whopping 22 1/4 lengths over 1 1/8 miles at Belmont last Friday.

Trained by Jim Bond, Wild Years earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 96 for that effort and should make his next start in Fort Erie's July 22 Prince of Wales. The $350,000 Prince of Wales, a 1 3/16-mile race for Canadian-bred 3-year-olds, is the second leg of Canada's Triple Crown.

* Millennium Allstar, the eighth-place finisher in the Plate, emerged from the race with a "slight injury in one of his forelegs," according to trainer and co-owner Sue Leslie.

"It probably happened leaving the gate; he got bumped a little," said Leslie, adding that Millennium Allstar is still at the racetrack but has not trained since the Plate.

* Husbands has appealed a stewards' ruling which had fined him $500 for "misuse of his whip" during last Wednesday's seventh race. The stewards ruled that Husbands caused welts on both flanks of his mount Melisma's Valley, who finished second.