08/20/2006 11:00PM

Seeking Shelter off key race

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ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Exiting a quality key race, Seeking Shelter will face older opponents Wednesday at Woodbine in the second race, a 6 1/2-furlong grass allowance worth $62,800.

The second race launches the pick seven, which has a carryover of $8,841, and Seeking Shelter should be on many tickets.

Seeking Shelter won his maiden at 6 1/2 furlongs on the grass in his second start at 2. He subsequently finished second to eventual Canadian champion 2-year-old Edenwold in the Simcoe Stakes and 11th in the Cup and Saucer on Oct. 16 to end the year.

Seeking Shelter finished second in three straight allowances for 3-year-olds in the spring, including a narrow loss to Royal Challenger, who subsequently won the Breeders' Stakes. Most recently, in the June 25 Charlie Barley, he finished fifth after pressing the pace along the inside.

Seaside Retreat, the Charlie Barley winner, returned to finish a troubled second in the Grade 2 Virginia Derby at Colonial. French Beret, the Charlie Barley runner-up, came back to win the Toronto Cup. The Charlie Barley has yielded two other next-out winners: Storm Caller and Artagnan.

Seeking Shelter has been working quickly over the turf training course for Malcolm Pierce, an accomplished layoff trainer.

Other possibilities in the second include Bold Thing, Kelvington, Copper Topper, and Absolute Silver.

Bold Thing defeated stakes winner Decew Falls on June 21, when he won an Ontario-sired allowance. He was fourth over soft ground two starts ago and was recently second to Gurkhas Band, who ran fourth in a tough $62,500 optional claimer last Friday.

Kelvington posted mixed results last winter at Santa Anita, but recently found his niche here sprinting on the turf. He finished second at seven furlongs in his first start at the meeting and then won his maiden going six furlongs with an 80 Beyer.

Copper Topper had a successful spring campaign, winning his season opener in a $25,000 claimer before running second in two consecutive allowances. Last time, in his grass debut, Copper Topper rallied off slow fractions to finish third behind Gurkhas Band and Bold Thing.

Absolute Silver beat Kelvington on June 18, when he won his maiden, but has since been a disappointment at the first allowance category.