04/24/2007 11:00PM

Speed bias gives edge to inside two


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Even casual handicappers have noticed the bias aiding speed and inside runners during the early portion of the Woodbine meeting.

The speed bias is seemingly caused by the significant amount of kickback on the surface, which impedes horses who come from behind. The Polytrack played quite fair for all running styles from the time it opened last Aug. 30 until the end of October. But when temperatures dropped to around the freezing mark during the first week of November, the wax in the surface failed to hold the fiber together, which created the kickback.

"The wax they put in wasn't the right one," said Irwin Driedger, Woodbine's director of racing surfaces. "It didn't contain much of an oil content, and it fell apart when it got cold. And after we removed a lot of the fiber, a good portion of the wax went with it."

The track could go back to being relatively unbiased after it is "rewaxed" later this spring. Until then, handicappers should expect to see more inside-speed runners flourish.

Comebackers London Snow and Executive Flight drew the two inside post positions in Friday's Woodbine headliner. Both should be forwardly placed in the $80,000 optional claimer at 6 1/2 furlongs.

London Snow won her first two starts last spring, both in Ontario-sired company, a six-furlong allowance and the seven-furlong Lady Angela Stakes. After coming up empty in the June 11 Woodbine Oaks, London Snow captured the La Prevoyante Stakes on turf and was second in two Polytrack stakes, the Eternal Search and the Jammed Lovely.

Steven Bahen retains the mount on London Snow for trainer John Charalambous.

Executive Flight kicked off her 2006 campaign by scoring in back-to-back allowances. She subsequently ran third in the Lady Angela, but was able to beat London Snow while ending up second in the Passing Mood Stakes on turf.

Executive Flight finished behind London Snow when she wound up second in the La Prevoyante and third in the Eternal Search Stakes. She went on a late-season tear, winning an open first-level allowance and a $62,500 optional claimer, then capped her season with a runner-up finish against $80,000 opposition.

Apprentice Tyler Pizarro will ride Executive Flight for trainer Darwin Banach.

* The pick seven carryover is $7,934.