06/24/2008 11:00PM

Storm Caller gets a do-over


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Storm Caller didn't get a chance to run in New York last Friday, as he stumbled badly at the start and unseated rider Eibar Coa.

On Saturday, Storm Caller will be hoping for a less tempestuous journey when he swings back on his home grounds in the Grade 2, $300,000 King Edward.

The King Edward is a 1 1/8-mile turf race, while the Yankee Victor, Storm Caller's aborted start at Belmont, was at 1 1/16 miles on dirt.

In his only previous appearance this year, Storm Caller, a Kentucky-bred 5-year-old gelding, finished a closing second here in the Grade 3 Vigil at seven furlongs on Polytrack on May 19.

"His best race is going a mile," said Reade Baker, who trains Storm Caller for Jim and Susan Hill. "I don't know about a mile and an eighth, but what do we do? There's no place else to run."

Jim McAleney regains the mount on Storm Caller in the King Edward, which attracted a field of nine headed by locally based Society's Chairman.

Bear Now should move forward

Baker was proud of Bear Now following her front-running head victory here in last Saturday's 1 1/16-mile Hill 'n' Dale.

A Kentucky-bred 4-year-old filly who races for the Bear Stable of Danny Dion, Bear Now had finished third in the 1 1/16-mile Allaire duPont Distaff in her most recent outing at Pimlico on May 17.

Bear Now suffered an entrapped epiglottis during the DuPont, underwent surgery three days later, and did nothing more than walk the shed row here for the next couple of weeks.

"She'd galloped 12 days and worked twice coming into Saturday's race," said Baker, who got a couple of good five-furlong breezes into Bear Now. "She'll positively move forward off this race. I'll be able to train here in a normal fashion."

Bear Now's next target is the $150,000 Ontario Matron, a 1 1/16-mile race for fillies and mares here July 20.

Authenicat breezes for Bison City

Authenicat breezed four furlongs in 49.80 seconds here Wednesday in preparation for Sunday's 1 1/16-mile Bison City.

"She just worked an easy half, and we let her gallop out," said trainer Josie Carroll, who gave jockey Robert Landry a leg up for the drill.

The $250,000 Bison City follows the Woodbine Oaks as the second leg of the triple tiara for Canadian-bred 3-year-old fillies.

Ginger Brew, six-length winner of the 1 1/8-mile Woodbine Oaks, came back to just miss in last Sunday's Queen's Plate and is getting time off.

Victory Romance, also trained by Carroll, finished second in the Woodbine Oaks and will return for the Bison City.

Authenicat, another 3 1/4 lengths back in third in the Oaks, was making just her third start of the year and her first of the season around two turns. She had finished sixth in the seven-furlong Lady Angela, coming out of the race with a severe case of congestion.

"After the Oaks she just went up to Gail Wood's farm," said Carroll, who trains Authenicat for the Vinery and Fog City stables. "She just got her head down and ate some grass for a week."

Anne's Purse points for Damsel

Anne's Purse, who had been under consideration for the Woodbine Oaks after winning her first two starts including the seven-furlong Lady Angela, breezed four furlongs on the "good" turf training track in 47.60 here Wednesday in preparation for a possible appearance in the July 6 Ontario Damsel.

Regular rider Eurico Rosa da Silva was aboard for the drill, in which the dogs were well out, and Anne's Purse came very wide into the stretch.

"I thought she handled the turf well," said trainer Earl Barnett, who also worked Anne's Purse over the grass earlier this month.

Owned by Jim De Angelis, Anne's Purse tasted defeat for the first time when fourth as the odds-on choice in a six-furlong second-level allowance for Ontario-sired fillies and mares here June 19.

"She got upset going to the gate, froze a bit, and didn't break that good," said Barnett. "She had to let the speed go and try to catch up to them.

"Next time we hope we'll be able to let her do what she wants to do, which is go right along."

Two loom large in Dominion Day

Tuesday's Grade 3, $200,000 Dominion Day, a 1 1/4-mile race for 3-year-olds and upward, is shaping up as a virtual match race between True Metropolitan and Sterwins.

True Metropolitan, trained by Terry Jordan, and Sterwins, trained by Malcolm Pierce, ran one-two in the 1 1/16-mile Eclipse here June 7 with the balance of the six-horse field finishing well back.

A 6-year-old Florida-bred gelding, True Metropolitan controlled the pace in the Eclipse and was a comfortable 1 1/2-length winner under jockey Jim McAleney.

True Metropolitan, who has been in the day-to-day care of assistant trainer Anita Bolton while Jordan travels back and forth from his Vancouver base, breezed six furlongs in 1:12.80 with McAleney in the irons here Tuesday morning.

"I was very happy with him," said McAleney. "It was almost as if he hadn't even run the other week. He was fresh and strong and finished up as well as you could ever expect.

"Right now, he's as good a horse as I've ever been on."

Sterwins, who had trailed by up to 12 lengths midway through the Eclipse, worked four furlongs in 47.60 here last Saturday.

"He left himself with a bit too much to do last time," said Pierce. "I'm hoping some other speed will show up in the Dominion Day.

"True Metropolitan is a tough old horse, and he's even tougher when he gets his own way on the front end."

* Woodbine Entertainment Group reports that the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.'s coverage of last Sunday's Queen's Plate attracted 289,000 viewers as total audience size increased by 165 percent versus 2007. Last year's Queen's Plate was telecast by The Sports Network. The CBC, Canada's national network, last broadcast the Plate in 1998.