07/27/2007 12:00AM

Three champs to meet in Seagram


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - True Metropolitan, the champion older male in Canada last year, heads a first-rate six-horse field in Sunday's Grade 3, $150,000 Seagram Cup Stakes at Woodbine.

True Metropolitan has had four starts this year. He won his season opener at 6 1/2 furlongs in the George Royal Stakes at Hastings, then was sent by trainer Terry Jordan to Woodbine.

True Metropolitan was a stalking third under Quincy Welch in the Grade 3, 1 1/16-mile Eclipse Stakes here May 21. He followed that with front-running victories in the Grade 3, 1 1/4-mile Dominion Day and an allowance prep for that race under Todd Kabel.

Jordan said True Metropolitan didn't respond to rating tactics in the Eclipse.

"If I had it to do all over again, I don't think he would have gotten beat," Jordan said. "Coming off that sprint race in Vancouver, he was pretty sharp. He took him off the pace, when he should have just left him alone. When you start fighting with these horses, they give up."

Jordan said he isn't concerned about the cutback in distance for True Metropolitan.

"He's got a lot of natural speed," he said. "I think he'll be tough to beat. Going a mile and a sixteenth, he'll run the whole way."

The Seagram drew two other champions, Palladio and Judiths Wild Rush, along with the 2006 winner, Gouldings Green.

Gouldings Green beat a much weaker group in last year's Seagram, which was run over the inner dirt track because the Polytrack was under construction. He started twice in the spring at Arlington Park, finishing third in the Grade 3 Hanshin Handicap and sixth as the favorite in a seven-furlong optional claimer.

Palladio, the 2005 champion 3-year-old, won the Eclipse with a powerful wide run, but managed to run only third when favored in the Dominion Day.

"The Dominion Day wasn't his true race," said jockey Richard Dos Ramos. "I watched him work the other day, and he worked really well. I'm looking for a better race from him on Sunday."

Judiths Wild Rush, Canada's champion sprinter in 2005 and 2006, was a prominent second in the Eclipse. He could be tough on the front end Sunday, as could the other front-runner in the lineup, Fuhrever Dancing.