06/27/2001 12:00AM

Turf may trigger good Travel


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Handicappers may be in a quandary when pondering which version of High Speed Travel will show up in Friday's eighth race at Woodbine.

Will it be the High Speed Travel who won the 2000 Vice Regent Stakes, or will it be the one who has thrown craps in two of his three outings this year?

High Speed Travel, a large Bold Ruckus gelding, graduated in his second start on the main track in 2000 before finishing up the track in the Plate Trial Stakes. He took an immediate liking to the grass last summer, and captured the restricted Vice Regent going a mile over that surface Aug. 9.

High Speed Travel was beaten

10 lengths in his seasonal debut on dirt, but rebounded when he moved to the turf in the allowance prep for the Connaught Cup Stakes on May 18, when he ran second to the talented Solitary Dancer.

Most recently in a six-furlong dash at this $62,500 optional-claiming level, High Speed Travel never fired and finished 7 1/4 lengths in arrears as the second choice in the betting.

Richard Dos Ramos retains the mount on High Speed Travel, who is trained by Barb Minshall. He will be coupled with the veteran Spider Wire.

Rounding out the field for the seven-furlong turf race will be Wilderness Cat, Gordy's Our Man, Ivory Angel, Van Patten, Free Agent on Ice, Hoptuit Bud, Outer Wood, Canajun Cajun, Spring Barley, and Miller's Mark.

Van Patten, claimed by trainer Sandy McPherson for $62,500 off a strong recent effort on the main track, is unbeaten in two turf starts and should lead the way. He's shedding the blinkers while picking up journeyman Jim McKnight and will likely be one of the favorites.

Magic Flute figures to be a short price in the seventh race on the card, a one-mile preliminary allowance for 3-year-olds and up.

Magic Flute finished second despite running greenly when he debuted in a seven-furlong maiden special April 22. He made no mistakes in a similar spot May 26, when he blew away his opposition with an eye-catching move on the turn, and won by nearly six lengths in his first attempt with Lasix.

Magic Flute will try the grass for the first time here and has a license to handle it. He is by a good turf sire in Peteski, although his dam has produced just one winner on the grass from five starters.

David Clark will ride Magic Flute for trainer Josie Carroll.