05/18/2004 11:00PM

'Tonka Toy' looks for drop-down win


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Tracy's Tonka Toy will take a subtle class drop for Friday's Woodbine headliner, a 1 1/16-mile allowance that has drawn several 3-year-olds nominated to the $1 million Queen's Plate.

Tracy's Tonka Toy, a 4-year-old trained by Gord Colbourne, had a productive 2003 campaign, the highlight of which was a third-place finish in the 1 1/8-mile Victoria Park Stakes. He also ran fourth in the Grade 3 Toronto Cup Stakes on turf, and graduated in a $50,000 maiden race by 9 1/2 lengths.

Tracy's Tonka Toy was a distant second to next-out allowance winner I Thee Wed going seven furlongs over a muddy track in his season opener. He stretched out to 1 1/16 miles in another preliminary allowance most recently, and ended up fifth after making a premature move on the backstretch.

On Friday, Tracy's Tonka Toy meets Ontario-sired nonwinners-of-two opposition, the class at which he finished third going a mile on the grass last spring. Jono Jones will ride the Box Arrow Farm homebred.

Rounding out the field for Friday's seventh race are Archer Fleet, Kent Ridge, Kintu, Ediko, Sir Sashay, Liam's Gladiator, Paudash Lake, Executive Willie, and Knotty Behaviour.

Archer Fleet and Kent Ridge, both sons of 1998 Queen's Plate winner Archers Bay, are eligible to the June 27 Plate.

Archer Fleet won his maiden over a sloppy strip on the second day of the meeting, in a five-furlong maiden special for Ontario-sired runners. He followed it up with a third-place finish in a five-furlong allowance, and will race around two turns for the first time on Friday.

Kent Ridge graduated his second time out at 2 before running second in two restricted stakes, the six-furlong Bull Page and seven-furlong Frost King.

Kent Ridge has been absent since he was fifth in the Nov. 1 Coronation Futurity, a 1 1/8-mile event that has evolved into a key race. Copper Trail, who had won the Frost King before finishing third in the Coronation, beat older rivals in a $50,000 optional claimer when he returned from a winter layoff last Sunday. His Smoothness and Twisted Wit, fourth and sixth in the Coronation, both came back to win impressively.

Knotty Behaviour found his niche on the grass last summer, when he won a maiden special and finished fourth in the Vice Regent Stakes.

Executive Willie is experimenting at a route off a lackluster effort in a five-furlong event at this level, and figures to flash some early foot.

Paudash Lake benefited from a speed bias in his maiden win over $40,000 claimers May 5.