06/23/2003 12:00AM

'Tonka' faces older in turf try


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Tracy's Tonka Toy will meet older Ontario-sired opposition in his first turf attempt, a one-mile allowance worth $69,900 that will go as Wednesday's third race at Woodbine.

Tracy's Tonka Toy was eligible for Sunday's Queen's Plate but bypassed that race in favor of this much easier spot. He finished far back in each of his three 2-year-old outings but has evolved into a productive route specialist this season under the guidance of trainer Gord Colbourne.

On May 10, Tracy's Tonka Toy beat $50,000 maidens by 9 1/2 lengths in his first venture around two turns this year. He pressed the talented Shoal Water through moderate splits three weeks later in allowance company before fading to end up third. Shoal Water came back in the Plate and finished a respectable fourth.

Tracy's Tonka Toy is coming off his best effort, a third-place finish in the Victoria Park Stakes for which he earned his second straight 80-plus Beyer Figure. He vied up front through slow fractions in that nine-furlong event and was beaten just 1 3/4 lengths by victorious Pants N Kisses.

Tracy's Tonka Toy is by Canada's most successful turf sire, Ascot Knight, although there is very little grass breeding on the dam side of his pedigree. Accomplished turf rider Jono Jones retains the mount for Box Arrow Farm.

Completing the third-race lineup will be Jeepis Missed, Selective Wisdom, Pouring Rain, Wild Connection, Mystic Dash, Stand Down, Bold Kris, Young Whiz, and Tattotail. Bravely was entered for the main track only.

Cavalier Billie leads other turf field

Stakes winner Cavalier Billie heads the other turf event on the card, a second-level allowance.

Cavalier Billie was an ordinary runner early in her career, before trainer Phil Gracey tried her on the grass about a year ago in a six-furlong maiden special. She won for fun that day and subsequently beat a pretty good field going 6 1/2 furlongs in the Ontario Damsel Stakes.

Cavalier Billie failed to stay a mile next time out in a tough stakes prep, yet she still finished fourth behind Strait From Texas and Lush Soldier. She has been idle since running fifth over yielding ground in an Oct. 13 allowance.

Gracey's other entrant in the race, Susan Gracey, finished second by a neck in the same Oct. 13 allowance race, her lone grass try.

Rounding out the field for the six-furlong dash are Stormy Way, Honey Green, Clubay, Crimson Courtier, Dancen in the Sun, Jade Butterfly, and Seventh Choice.