06/20/2004 11:00PM

Slew Valley continues to slay 'em locally


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Slew Valley, himself a giant of a horse, played the metaphorical role of giant-killer here in Saturday's $324,300 King Edward Breeders' Cup at Woodbine.

A Maryland-bred 7-year-old, Slew Valley had joined Reade Baker's outfit here a little more than a month ago, and his King Edward victims included the odds-on choice, Wando, Canada's reigning horse of the year and champion 3-year-old.

While Slew Valley had won the Grade 3 Connaught Cup here May 30, Baker had expressed some reservations heading into the King Edward after Slew Valley worked six furlongs in 1:11.20 over the main track June 13.

"I was concerned that the work I'd given him was too much," Baker said. "I guess it was ill-founded. Obviously, he ran super."

Owned and bred by Marylander Jim Hindman, Slew Valley came north to participate in the turf program and has now captured both of the division's stakes, with the Connaught at 1 1/16 miles and the King Edward at 1 1/8 miles.

Next up will be the Grade 2, $300,000 Chinese Cultural Centre Stakes, a 1 3/8-mile turf race here July 25.

"I really don't want too much time with him, because he's a huge horse," said Baker, slightly leery of the six-week gap between races. "It wouldn't be an easy thing to keep him fit."

Baker said he does believe, however, that the 1 3/8 miles will be right up Slew Valley's alley, pointing out that his career-high Beyer Speed Figure of 113 came over that distance in the 2001 edition of Belmont's Grade 2 Bowling Green Handicap.

"He has a very long, sustained run, and I think that this course is perfect for a horse like that," Baker said. "On a tight-turned kind of course, where you need that quick kick of foot, he hasn't got that."

High white count for Wando

Wando was beaten 2 3/4 lengths as the fourth-place finisher in the King Edward, his second consecutive loss over 1 1/8 miles of turf.

"He cooled out real quiet, so I was a little concerned about him," said Wando's trainer, Mike Keogh.

Keogh said Wando had blood samples taken Sunday morning, "and it came back with a high white blood count. So he does have a bit of an excuse, anyway."

Keogh said Wando's blood count is the sign of an infection, and the colt has been turned out in a round pen adjacent to the barn here.

While there is no set timetable for his return, Keogh did suggest that Wando would be heading back to dirt racing.

In the meantime, Keogh will go to the bench for Mobil, who is scheduled to contest the Grade 3, $200,000 Dominion Day Handicap, a 1 1/4-mile race for 3-year-olds and up here July 1.

Mobil worked a mile in 1:40 Saturday under regular rider Todd Kabel.

One for Rose in the groove

One for Rose, Canada's champion older filly or mare last season, got back on target making her second start of 2004 in Sunday's $131,250 Ontario Matron.

Sid Attard, who trains One for Rose for Tucci Stable, had worried that the 5-year-old mare might not have gotten enough out of her first race of the year, a fourth-place finish against males in the Grade 3 Eclipse here May 24.

Attard's concern was heightened by the fact that One for Rose's key rival, Winning Chance, was entering the Matron off a very impressive win in the May 30 allowance prep.

One for Rose stepped up, however, leaving Winning Chance the runner-up for the fifth time in their last five meetings.

The next logical target for One for Rose would be the $100,000 Belle Mahone, a 1 1/16-mile race for fillies and mares here July 10. But the Belle Mahone is an overnight stakes, and Woodbine would have the option of not carding the race if six or fewer entrants are attracted.

Further down the road is the Sept. 5 Algoma, a 1 1/16-mile yearling sales stakes for fillies and mares in which One for Rose is the defending champion.

Victory shows versatility of Heyahohowdy

Heyahohowdy made a successful 2004 bow in Sunday's supporting feature by capturing the $108,000 Zadracarta, a race for Canadian-bred fillies and mares over six furlongs of turf.

Heyahohowdy made her first start for Abraham Katryan in last year's Zadracarta, finishing a troubled fourth, and then was purchased privately by her current owners, Kelynack Racing Stable.

The mare went on to win turf stakes over 1 1/8 miles and 1 1/2 miles, and underlined her versatility with Sunday's victory.

Katryan said Heyahohowdy is a possibility for the Grade 3, $150,000 Dance Smartly, a 1 1/8 mile turf race for fillies and mares here July 17.

Raylene in Baker barn for Dance Smartly

The Dance Smartly is the stated goal for Raylene, Alberta's reigning horse of the year and champion 3-year-old filly, who shipped over from her home province last week and is being trained by Baker.

Owned by Calmar Stable and Ranch and trained in Alberta by Rod Haynes, Raylene also was Alberta's champion 2-year-old filly but has failed to put her best foot forward in two previous trips to Woodbine.

A Kentucky-bred daughter of Tabasco Cat, Raylene has been running out of competition at Stampede Park this spring, defeating three rivals in the May 24 Ken Pearson Memorial over one mile and just two in the June 12 Duchess of York at 1 1/16 miles.

Raylene has compiled a record of 12 wins and four seconds, never missing a check while earning $500,602 in 20 career starts, all on the dirt.