12/07/2006 12:00AM

Strathclyde looks live off last

Email

ETOBICOKE, Ontario - An improving Strathclyde could find the mark in Saturday's competitive fifth race, a $62,500 allowance and optional claimer going 1 1/4 miles.

Saturday's 10-race card, on the penultimate day of the Woodbine meeting, attracted a whopping 137 entries, including 10 also-eligibles.

Strathclyde was claimed from his debut for $32,000 on July 1 by trainer Norm McKnight on behalf of Tallyho Racing Ltd. He finished second that day, and after two lackluster performances in maiden special company on the inner track, he won his maiden in a key $32,000 event on the Polytrack on Sept. 7.

Strathclyde won his second attempt at the first-level allowance category in a 1 1/16-mile race on Oct. 26, winning by three lengths to earn an 88 Beyer Speed Figure. Most recently at Saturday's second allowance level, he made an immediate impact, ending up second to a sharp Moonshine Justice, who returned and ran fourth in the Sir Barton Stakes.

Strathclyde, who worked five furlongs in 1:04 on Sunday, will be ridden by Ray Sabourin.

Other contenders in Saturday's race include Sextet, Tenpointfive, Pleasant Hall, Mr. Zulu, and High Table.

Sextet has been unpredictable since his authoritative allowance score going 1 1/4 miles on the grass Aug. 13. He ran third as the favorite in the restricted Halton Stakes, then ran the race of his life on the Polytrack in the Grade 3 Durham Cup Stakes, finishing second with a 94 Beyer.

Sextet never reached contention two races ago, in the Chief Bearhart Stakes. He was recently fourth behind Moonshine Justice and Strathclyde.

Chicago invader Tenpointfive won three starts in a row on the grass at Arlington during the summer. He also led throughout a minor stakes on the main track Nov. 11 at Hawthorne, earning a career-high 95 Beyer. A need-the-lead type, Tenpointfive has to contend with the speedy Pleasant Hall.

Pleasant Hall defeated $32,000 claimers Nov. 16 on the Polytrack, the same surface over which he ran third for $40,000 just a few days ago on Dec. 1.

Mr. Zulu won twice on the grass in September. He has been freshened since finishing a surprising fourth in the Oct. 28 Chief Bearhart, which was taken off the grass and run at 1 1/4 miles on the Polytrack.

High Table has hit the board in each of his three trips over the all-weather track. He was a neck behind Strathclyde in third last time in his first attempt with blinkers, equipment that trainer Bob Tiller has removed for this engagement.