06/04/2010 12:00AM

Turf prep for Dark Cloud Dancer


ETOBICOKE, Ontario − A first-level allowance race at 1 1/8 miles on the turf might seem like a strange spot to prep for the Queen's Plate. But that is trainer Mark Frostad's plan for Dark Cloud Dancer, a Sam-Son Farm homebred who will be making his third start in Sunday's race for 3-year-olds and up.

"The distance was right, and the timing was right, a month out from the Plate," Frostad said. "Did I want to run him on turf before the Plate? I've done it before, with Scatter the Gold, and won."

Scatter the Gold, a son of Mr. Prospector and Dance Smartly, came into the 2000 Queen's Plate off a second-place finish in a maiden race at 1 1/16 miles on the grass. His full sister Dancethruthedawn won the Queen's Plate the following year.

Dark Cloud Dancer is by Storm Cat out of Dancethruthedawn. He was second in his

6 1/2-furlong debut here April 17 and won his maiden over seven furlongs a month later.

The $1 million Queen's Plate is scheduled for July 4.

Frostad has two more Plate hopefuls

Frostad and Sam-Son also hope Hotep and Giant's Tomb will represent them in the Queen's Plate.

Hotep, a full brother to last year's Queen's Plate winner, Eye of the Leopard, is coming off a second-place finish in the open Marine Stakes at 1 1/16 miles here May 29 and will train up to the Plate.

Giant's Tomb was third behind a pair of older rivals in his local seasonal debut under second-level allowance terms at 1 1/16 miles on May 8. He is headed for next Sunday's $150,000 Plate Trial.

Hollinger and Mobilizer put in mile works

Queen's Plate hopefuls Hollinger and Mobilizer each breezed one mile here Friday morning for trainer Roger Attfield.

Hollinger, with regular rider Tyler Pizarro aboard, was clocked in 1:39.60, and Mobilizer, under jockey Jono Jones, went in 1:40.60.

Clocker Mike Lym had Hollinger going in fractions of 24.60, 36.80, 49.80, 1:02.60, 1:14, and 1:28.

Lym also caught Hollinger galloping out 1 1/8 miles in 1:52.80 and Mobilizer galloping out the same distance in 1:54.80.

Mudder At the Bar, an Ontario-sired 3-year-old gelding who won his maiden over 1 1/16 miles in his seasonal debut, also was part of the team and got his mile in 1:41.20. Lym noted the work was done "handily."

"Hollinger went very well," Attfield said. "Mobilizer was okay, too; he just wasn't as good as Hollinger in the work. But sometimes the way they work doesn't go the same way they'd run in a race."

Hollinger, Canada's champion male 2-year-old after an undefeated four-start campaign, has raced once this season, finishing fourth as the odds-on choice in the seven-furlong Queenston here May 15.

Mobilizer has started three times, all at 1 1/16 miles, beginning with a third-place finish at Keeneland on April 8.

In two starts here, Mobilizer won his maiden May 8 and finished second behind Artic Fern, another Queen's Plate hopeful, in a first-level allowance 15 days later.

The $150,000 Plate Trial is run at 1 1/8 miles; the Queen's Plate is run at 1 1/4 miles.

Others headed for the Plate Trial include Ghost Fleet and D's Wando, the second- and third-place finishers in the Queenston.

Ernfold works toward Woodbine Oaks

The Plate Trial and the $500,000 Woodbine Oaks will be run on the same card this year, with the fillies also traveling 1 1/8 miles.

Ernfold, shaping up as one of the leading Woodbine Oaks candidates for Attfield, also breezed in company Friday and was clocked in 59.80 for her five furlongs under regular rider Jim McAleney.

Lym timed Ernfold through fractions of 24.00, 34.60, and 47.40 and caught her continuing through six furlongs in 1:13.20, seven furlongs in 1:29.20, and a mile in 1:45.

"I was delighted with her," Attfield said.

Ernfold captured a first-level allowance race over 1 1/8 miles at Keeneland in her seasonal debut and finished second behind Biofuel here in the 1 1/16-mile Mazarine.

Doctor Jack no longer Plate-bound

Doctor Jack is nominated to the Queen's Plate but will be going in a different direction, beginning with Sunday's $125,000 Bold Ruckus Stakes.

Owned by Syd Cooper's RMC Stable and trained by Ian Black, Doctor Jack will be trying turf for the first time in the six-furlong race for Ontario-sired 3-year-olds.

Trained last year by Danny Vella, Doctor Jack won one of seven starts and placed in three stakes. He opened his campaign here with a second-place finish in a restricted first-level allowance at 5 1/2 furlongs and then tried 1 1/16 miles against older rivals in a second-level allowance. Doctor Jack stalked the pace before weakening slightly to finish fifth, beaten 3 1/4 lengths.

"I gave him one shot going two turns," Black said. "He didn't run a bad race, but the consensus was that he wouldn't want to go a mile and a quarter."

Doctor Jack, who was supplemented to the Bold Ruckus at a cost of $2,500, will have his regular rider, Jim McAleney, aboard as he breaks from post 10 in the field of 11.

Eaves new CEO of Woodbine

Nick Eaves has officially taken over as chief executive officer of the Woodbine Entertainment Group, effective Friday.

The appointment was announced by David Willmot, who had served as chief executive officer since 1995 and will continue to serve as chairman of the board of directors.

Eaves joined WEG in 1994 and had served as president and chief operating officer since 2006.