10/05/2006 11:00PM

Tiller holds strong hand with two aces in Mt. Sassafrass

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ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Trainer Bob Tiller will be holding a pair of aces in Sunday’s $75,000 Mt. Sassafras Stakes at Woodbine when he runs uncoupled stablemates Twisted Wit and Dave the Knave in the seven-furlong sprint for Ontario-foaled horses.

Twisted Wit defeated Dave the Knave by a neck when he won the restricted Kenora Stakes at six furlongs Sept. 4. His previous efforts this year weren’t anything special, although he managed to finish fourth twice behind Canada’s best sprinter, Judiths Wild Rush, including in the Grade 3 Vigil Stakes.

Tiller said Twisted Wit finally put it all together in time for the Kenora.

“He had been training well, and he seems to enjoy the Poly,” Tiller explained. “His nerves are getting better – he doesn’t fret at the gate anymore. He’s maturing. He always had ability. He won stakes as a 2-year-old, and he won the Queenston Stakes as a 3-year-old. He’s worked well since the Kenora, and he’s in good order.”

Dave the Knave has won 3 of 6 starts this year, including the Shepperton Stakes at 7 1/2 furlongs on the inner dirt track Aug. 6.

Most recently in the seven-furlong Overskate Stakes, Dave the Knave stalked on the outside and finished a distant second behind a razor-sharp Verne’s Baby.

“He ran a huge race last time,” Tiller said. “He just got beat by a better horse that day on that track, which was pretty fast. He’s run well every time.”

Edenwold, last year’s Canadian champion 2-year-old, makes his first start against older opponents in the Mt. Sassafras.

Edenwold’s lone win this year came with the aid of an inside bias in the 1 1/4-mile Queen’s Plate in June. He wound up fifth, before being placed fourth by disqualification, in the second leg of the Canadian Triple Crown, the Prince of Wales Stakes at Fort Erie.

Edenwold ran fourth as the favorite last time at Northlands Park in the Grade 3 Canadian Derby. The winner that day, Shillelagh Slew, came back to capture the Grade 3 Ontario Derby.

Just Rushing has won each of his last five races, including three optional claimers. He got a career-high 96 Beyer Speed Figure when victorious over $80,000 opposition going 6 1/2 furlongs on the Polytrack on Sept. 23.

Main Executive and Great Addiction were both supplemented at a cost of $1,500.

Main Executive was a well-beaten third in the Overskate, after pressing front-running Verne’s Baby on the backstretch.

Great Addiction finished a half-length back in second in Just Rushing’s last triumph.