05/14/2006 11:00PM

Short rest makes Laughing Moon vulnerable


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Laughing Moon has a slight Beyer Figure advantage in Wednesday's Woodbine headliner, but he could bounce in the six-furlong allowance for 3-year-olds and up, and is certainly no cinch to prevail.

Laughing Moon, a 4-year-old Florida-bred gelding, made both of his 2005 starts in June. He graduated second time out in a seven-furlong maiden special, earning an 81 Beyer.

Laughing Moon upped his best Beyer to 83 when he resurfaced in a first-level allowance May 5, in which he was beaten a neck after a four-wide stalking trip. Coming back in just 12 days here makes him a vulnerable favorite.

Gerry Olguin will ride Laughing Moon for trainer Joe Walls, who has compiled a 2-3-1 record from just 6 starters at this stand.

The first Wednesday evening card of the meeting two weeks ago featured a potent speed bias, which was the result of the track being watered heavily during the afternoon. All eight winners that night raced on or just off the lead. Last Wednesday, however, was a different story, as the track played quite fair.

The front-runners in Wednesday's feature are Mr. Henry Two U and Ashlee's Cat.

Mr. Henry Two U has not seen action since finishing third in a 1 1/16-mile allowance Dec. 4. He has been working over the training track and is reacquiring blinkers. Trainer Ross Armata has respectable layoff stats, and has done very well when adding blinkers to his charges.

Ashlee's Cat, the lone 3-year-old in the seven-horse field, wound up second in each of his first two allowance outings at the meeting, both against his own age group. Most recently, going seven-eighths, he showed speed before fading badly in a tough allowance won by Queen's Plate prospect Shillelagh Slew.

Abitquick and Irish Gambit are serious contenders.

In his season opener, Abitquick closed for third behind the beautifully bred (by Storm Cat out of champion Chilukki) American invader Chubasco Cat. He was beaten five lengths after trying to mount a wide bid over a speed-favoring track in a subsequent six-furlong allowance won by Kharlamov, who came back to take a $62,500 optional claimer. The runner-up, Marco Be Good, won a first-level allowance in his next appearance.

Apprentice Emma Wilson will ride Abitquick for trainer Sid Attard, a combination that is 7 for 18 at the meeting.

Irish Gambit rallied strongly on the outside for a three-length score over Ontario-sired allowance opposition going six furlongs in his second start off the sidelines May 5. This field appears a bit weaker than the one he just beat.