11/11/2004 12:00AM

Slew's Saga can clinch title


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - It has been 28 years since the legendary Seattle Slew was voted the Eclipse Award as champion 2-year-old for owners Karen and Mickey Taylor.

Saturday at Woodbine, Slew's Saga, a son of Seattle Slew owned by the Taylors, will try to lock up the Sovereign Award for champion 2-year-old in the $250,000 Coronation Futurity.

The nine-furlong race drew a field of seven Canadian-bred 2-year-olds, four of whom are maidens. The 10-race card includes two other stakes, the Grade 3 Maple Leaf, which includes 2003 champion older female One for Rose, and the $103,000 Mt. Sassafras, which is headed by reigning Canadian Horse of the Year Wando.

Slew's Saga took a few starts to get his act together. He had to cope with a wet track in his first two outings, finishing second in a maiden race and fourth in the six-furlong Vandal Stakes. After winding up fifth in a six-furlong maiden special, he won going a mile and 70 yards, with a Beyer Figure of 71.

Most recently, Slew's Saga tried the grass in the 1 1/16-mile Cup and Saucer Stakes, and crushed a decent field with an 89 Beyer, winning on the lead by nearly 10 lengths.

Trainer Bob Tiller, who was shocked by Slew's Saga's turf prowess, said the colt was sent to him because he's a Canadian-bred.

"He was readied in northern California, and was about two works away from running when he came here," Tiller recalled. "He had a real good bottom on him. We carried on with him here. He was a little disappointing early on, but he obviously wants to go long."

Tiller believes that Slew's Saga should be crowned champion at year's end if he prevails in the Coronation.

"If he wins, he will have won the two major distance races for 2-year-olds in Canada," Tiller said. "Show me the last horse that did that who didn't win the Sovereign."

Trainer Roger Attfield, who won the 1994 Coronation with Talkin Man, entered both Area Limits and Ablo.

Area Limits was the $175,000 sale topper at the 2003 Fasig-Tipton select sale of Canadian-bred yearlings. He bombed in his debut on the main track before finishing a distant third in the Cup and Saucer.

Ablo won a seven-furlong maiden special taken off the grass on Oct. 21.

Leo Getz, owned by actor Joe Pesci and trainer Wesley Ward, ships in from Southern California off a fourth-place finish in a maiden special on the Hollywood Park turf.