10/11/2005 11:00PM

Surprising season takes Ambitious Cat to E.P. Taylor

Michael Burns Photo Ltd.
Fifth Overture is expected to start in the Grade 2 First Flight 'Cap at Belmont Park.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Ambitious Cat, who has improved by leaps and bounds this season, is on target for the Grade 1, $1 million E.P. Taylor Stakes.

The E.P. Taylor, a 1 1/4-mile turf race, will be run here Oct. 23 along with the Grade 1 Canadian International and the Grade 2 Nearctic.

With exercise rider Mark Solomon in the irons, Ambitious Cat had her final major tune-up here Wednesday morning over a good turf training course.

Ambitious Cat went six furlongs in 1:14.80 in company with stablemate Classic Piper, who finished in 1:15.20 under exercise rider and jockey agent Tyler Gaskin.

"I was pleased with her," said trainer Eric Coatrieux, who was on hand to supervise the drill. "She never shows all that much when she works."

Ambitious Cat, a Kentucky-bred 4-year-old, is stabled and does the majority of her training at the nearby farm of Chiefswood Stable principals Robert and Mark Krembil.

Unraced at 2, Ambitious Cat won her maiden over 1 1/16 miles on a sloppy track here in May 2004 and had her campaign cut short after her fourth start, in July. Since returning to action at Gulfstream this February, Ambitious Cat has become a serious turf performer.

"She's been free of injuries, that's the key," said Coatrieux. "She hit the rail in one of her races here last year and hurt her tibia. It became a bit of an issue, and we had to ease up on her. But ever since the beginning of this year, she's been great."

Ambitious Cat comes into the E.P. Taylor off a second-place finish behind Classic Stamp in the Canadian Handicap, a Grade 2 race over 1 1/8 miles on soft turf here Sept. 18. It was jockey Patrick Husbands's first loss aboard Ambitious Cat. Husbands took over as her rider in August and rode her to back-to-back victories in open turf allowances.

Fifth Overture to First Flight

Fifth Overture, another 4-year-old filly who has improved this season for Coatrieux and Chiefswood, is slated to make her next start in the Grade 2, $150,000 First Flight Handicap for fillies and mares at Belmont on Oct. 30.

A Kentucky-bred, Fifth Overture has won her last four races, all at Woodbine, including the Sweet Briar Too and the Grade 3 Seaway, both of which were run at the First Flight's seven-furlong distance.

Robert Landry, Fifth Overture's regular rider, has the call for the First Flight.

Noble Stella works five furlongs

Noble Stella, an E.P. Taylor possibility, worked five furlongs on the turf training track in 1:00.80 under Rachel Halden.

"She's in really good order," said Halden, who is the assistant to Noble Stella's trainer, Roger Attfield.

Noble Stella, a 4-year-old owned by Gary Tanaka, won the Flaming Page over 1 1/2 miles on good turf here Sept. 25 and also is nominated to the $150,000 Dowager, a 1 1/2-mile turf race at Keeneland on Oct. 23.

"We'll keep an eye on how the E.P. Taylor is coming up," said Halden.

Honolua Storm preps for Durham Cup

Honolua Storm also worked well here Wednesday, going four furlongs in a bullet 47 seconds over a fast training track in preparation for Saturday's Grade 3, $160,650 Durham Cup Handicap.

"He seems in really good shape right now," said Halden, who was aboard for the work.

The Durham Cup, a 1 1/8-mile race, attracted a field of six older horses, including Niigon and Daddy Cool, the one-two finishers in the 1 1/16-mile allowance prep here Sept. 24.

Honolua Storm ran fourth that day, beaten 5 3/4 lengths, but won the Grade 3 Eclipse at 1 1/16 miles in May and finished second in the Grade 3 Seagram Cup at the same distance.

'Tothemoon' tops Bull Page field

Saturday's card also will feature the Bull Page, a six-furlong race for Ontario-sired 2-year-old colts and geldings.

Tothemoonandback, an impressive winner of his 5 1/2-furlong debut for trainer Reade Baker and jockey Jim McAleney here Sept. 28, heads the field of 10 for the Bull Page.

On Wednesday morning, Tothemoonandback breezed four furlongs on the fast main track in 49.60.

Run Justin Run back on turf

Sunday's feature will be the $250,000 Cup and Saucer, a 1 1/16-mile turf race for Canadian-bred 2-year-olds. Probable entrants Run Justin Run, French Beret, and Shadow Rush all worked over the turf training course Wednesday.

Run Justin Run, trained by John Ross, breezed four furlongs in 49.20 under regular rider Eurico Rosa da Silva.

Run Justin Run won his maiden over seven furlongs on turf here Sept. 3, but finished last of four when returned to the main track for the seven-furlong Swynford on Sept. 25.

"He won his only start on the grass," said Ross. "We'll go and give it a try. We'll see if he gets the mile and a sixteenth."

French Beret, trained by Mark Frostad, went four furlongs in 49.60 under jockey Garry Cruise. Todd Kabel has the call for the Cup and Saucer.

Shadow Rush, trained by Attfield, breezed five furlongs in 1:02.20. Regular rider Landry will be aboard.

Edenwold, winner of three consecutive stakes here this summer, breezed six furlongs in 1:18 but is unlikely for the Cup and Saucer, according to trainer Josie Carroll.

"It was his first time on turf," said Carroll of the work. "He didn't look all that comfortable out there."

Edenwold also is nominated to the $250,000 Coronation Futurity, a 1 1/8-mile dirt race for Canadian-bred 2-year-olds here Nov. 6.

* Jockey Simon Husbands has parted ways with John Calleja and moved his book over to Tom Patton Jr., who also represents Jono Jones.

* Apprentice jockey Happy Ando will sit out the Saturday, Sunday and Wednesday cards here after losing his appeal of an earlier suspension.