08/06/2002 11:00PM

Third leg, third victor for Crown

Email

ETOBICOKE, Ontario - With Queen's Plate winner T J's Lucky Moon and Prince of Wales winner Le Cinquieme Essai both on the sidelines, Saturday's $500,000 Breeders' Stakes will provide an opportunity for a new runner to leave a winning impression on the Canadian Triple Crown trail.

The Breeders', the 1 1/2-mile turf race for Canadian-bred 3-year-olds that is the final leg of the Canadian Triple, has attracted a field of 10, headed by the Sam-Son Farm entry of Portcullis and Mountain Beacon.

Portcullis will be seeking his third straight turf stakes win here in the Breeders', having captured the one-mile Charlie Barley on June 23 and the 1 1/8-mile Toronto Cup on July 13.

Other leading contenders include El Soprano, second in the Toronto Cup; Bravely, the Prince of Wales runner-up; and Anglian Prince, who finished second in the Plate and third in the Wales and will be the only horse to run in all three legs of the Triple Crown.

The fact that Anglian Prince has never raced on turf does not overly concern Mort Hardy, who trains the gelding.

"He'll adapt to anything; he's just that kind of a horse," said Hardy. "And the distance won't bother him - he'll rate. He'll do whatever you want."

The Breeders' field, in post position order with riders, will be Questing Knight (Patrick Husbands); Mountain Beacon (Todd Kabel), Bravely (Jake Barton); Discoman (Ray Sabourin); Anglian Prince (Richard Dos Ramos); Rum Splasher (Emile Ramsammy); Aspen Ridge (Constant Montpellier); Portcullis (Slade Callaghan); Taipan (Na Somsanith); and El Soprano (Robert Landry). All will carry 126 pounds.

Rum Splasher, based in New York with trainer Patrick Reynolds, was supplemented to the Breeders' at a cost of $15,000.

Taipan was scratched from a first-level allowance race here Thursday.

Plate winner through for 2002

T J's Lucky Moon, who won the Queen's Plate at 82-1 but then ran 10th of 12 in the Prince of Wales, is through for the season.

"He didn't come out of the Wales real good," said trainer Vito Armata, who sent out T J's Lucky Moon to work six furlongs in 1:12.40 on the turf training course here last Wednesday. He said the gelding emerged from that exercise in less-than-ideal shape, too.

* Le Cinquieme Essai, based at Fort Erie with trainer Paul Nielsen, had shipped here last week but was found to be ailing.