08/06/2007 11:00PM

Turf route good spot for Princely Pickle


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - The next three Thursdays were recently added to Woodbine's racing schedule, "due to overwhelming interest," according to Woodbine Entertainment Group, but this Thursday's program is hard to get enthused about.

The nominal feature on the eight-race card is a $40,000 claimer for nonwinners-of-three, which is scheduled for 1 1/16 miles on the grass. Princely Pickle should be strongly backed under Emma Wilson.

Princely Pickle has been competitive in three of his four outings at the meeting, all in conditioned claimers. He was a troubled second in his season opener on the Polytrack, and then wound up third behind Beyond Ascot and subsequent allowance winner Andalusian in a $40,000 grass contest.

Princely Pickle could manage only a sixth when he went back to the Polytrack two starts ago in a six-furlong dash. Most recently under identical conditions as those on Thursday, he made a three-wide bid in the stretch before fading to finish second to favored Certain Circles.

Forest Light finished third in Princely Pickle's last race. He put away a rival on the lead before weakening in the final furlong to finish a half-length behind Princely Pickle.

A Franky wired a nonwinners-of-two field going seven furlongs on grass June 29, but was only an early factor in a subsequent allowance.

Down Range, a son of turf expert King Cugat, finished eighth after a wide trip when he tried the grass for the first time July 11.

Strathclyde mounted a belated wide bid for fourth on the Poly when he dropped to this level July 22. He was beaten 6 1/2 lengths when he finished 12th in his only grass attempt at the second allowance level June 14.

Two well-bred first-time starters, Free to Sing and Takestwototango, are entered in the only non-claiming event on the card, a 6 1/2-furlong maiden special.

Free to Sing is a three-quarter-brother to Grade 2 stakes winner Broken Vow. A Kentucky-bred owned by Pin Oak Stable, Free to Sing has worked quickly for trainer Malcolm Pierce.

Takestwototango is a Kentucky-bred full brother to the versatile millionaire Mobil, Canada's champion older male in 2004. Reade Baker trains him for Zayat Stables.