10/18/2007 11:00PM

Take Mrs. Lindsay in Taylor

EmailLEXINGTON, Ky. - If you like rich graded stakes races on the turf with an international flavor, Woodbine is the track you should be handicapping on Sunday.

The action begins with the fifth race, the $1 million E.P. Taylor for fillies and mares going 1 1/4 miles on the grass. I like Mrs. Lindsay, who was second in the Group 1 French Oaks in June, and won the Group 1 Prix Vermeille two races later, in September. She showed early and tactical speed in those races, a running style that should help her here.

Sealy Hill, who just finished second, a neck behind Essential Edge, in the Grade 2 Canadian on Sept. 16, is my second choice. She was returning from a seven-week rest in that last race, and can improve in the second race of her form cycle. And she won on this course at this distance two races ago.

I am expecting regression from Essential Edge, who ran off to a five-length lead but tired and just barely held on to win the photo. With the exception of a seven-furlong sprint two races ago, Essential Edge lost ground from midstretch to the finish in each of her last seven races. The move from 1 1/8 to 1 1/4 miles is going to hinder her.

Barancella was second behind Safari Queen going 1 1/2 miles in the Grade 3 Bewitch at Keeneland, then won on the drop into an ungraded stakes going 1 3/8 miles last time at Belmont. Hostess rallied to finish fourth at 81-1 last time in the Grade 1 Flower Bowl, and should be a factor at a price.

Safari Queen settled for fourth and fifth in her last two starts, but she is capable of a better performance and deserves respect.

Two races later, the Grade 1, $2 million Canadian International will be run at 1 1/2 miles on the turf. My selection is Sunriver, who is the early speed in this race. That is probably a good thing since, through Thursday, three of the last five turf routes at Woodbine had been won by the horse who was first or second at the first call. Sunriver was pressed most of the way in all four of his turf races, and won two of them, including the Grade 2 Bowling Green. He finished within a length of the winner while dead-heating for fourth in the Grade 1 Arlington Million. The pace scenario should be more favorable for him Sunday.

Stream of Gold is improving, and just finished second in the Grade 1 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational. Continued progress second time back from a freshening, and in his third North American start, would make him a serious threat.

Sky Conqueror made late progress last time in the Woodbine Mile, but only finished in mid-pack. He should be more effective with an extra half-mile to cover.

Cloudy's Knight likes this turf course and this distance. He finished a close second in the Grade 2 Nijinsky at this same distance, then won the 1 3/8-mile Sky Classic last time out. Honolulu was third as the favorite in the Group 1 St. Leger, then was third again as the favorite in the Group 3 Cumberland Lodge. He will add Lasix in his first North American start, and must be considered.

The Grade 2, $500,000 Nearctic is a six-furlong sprint. Smart Enough won by only a half-length as the 1-2 favorite in a less-than-electrifying performance in the Tom Edison. But he was taken out of his game when he did not show his usual early speed, running fifth of six at the first call. So he still deserves credit for getting up to win the race. A more typical performance would make him the horse to beat.

Heros Reward has a versatile running style, and has finished first or second in 10 of his last 11 races, including a close second behind Smart Enough at Woodbine in June. He also completed the exacta behind that rival two races ago at Philadelphia Park. Ecclesiastic settled for fourth and third in his last two races, but a rebound to the form he showed while winning the Grade 3 Jaipur would make him a prime contender.