10/03/2003 12:00AM

Turf works give view of competition

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ETOBICOKE, Ontario - The turf training track opened for a special session here Friday, and the three horses who worked over the yielding surface had much in common.

Not Again Dan, Cut and Shoot, and Winter Whiskey all were $5,000 supplementary nominees for the $250,000 Cup and Saucer, a 1 1/16-mile turf race for Canadian-bred 2-year-olds here next Saturday.

And, with the recent wet weather having cut down sharply on turf training opportunities, Friday's opening allowed the three horses connections to assess their prospects.

Both Not Again Dan and Cut and Shoot came out looking for company for their drills, and they found it in each other.

Not Again Dan, with jockey Steven Bahen in the irons, got the best of the exercise, traveling seven furlongs in 1:31 while Cut and Shoot finished in 1:32 under Patrick Husbands.

"It was nice to have company, and he works a lot better on turf," said Bahen. "He was within himself, and galloped out nice and strong."

Owned and bred by Richard Day's Kingview Farm and trained by John Charalambous, Not Again Dan has seen action just once, finishing third in a maiden special over seven furlongs of turf here Aug. 10.

"Since then, things haven't worked out," said Charalambous. "I had the Cup and Saucer in the back of my mind, but as time's gone on there was no opportunity to try him again on grass.

"He's proven he's a turf horse, so we'll take a shot."

Cut and Shoot, owned by Stonerside Stable and trained by Mark Casse, was successful in his only start, scoring by 7 3/4 lengths over five furlongs on the main track here Aug. 9.

And while Cut and Shoot appeared to be soundly outworked on Friday, Casse took heart after discussing the circumstances with Husbands.

"Patrick wasn't concerned," said Casse. "He said he didn't try to stay with the horse, and he didn't get after him to finish, or anything.

"He actually was pleased with him. I'd told him when he went out there that if the turf was real soft, I didn't want to exhaust the horse."

Winter Whiskey back on old course

Winter Whiskey was getting his first feel of a turf surface when he breezed two furlongs in 25.40 seconds under jockey Jono Jones.

Co-owned by Ten Goal Racing Stable and his trainer, Catherine Day-Phillips, Winter Whiskey became a stakes winner here last time out in his third career start, capturing the seven-furlong Swynford with a late rally.

Following the Swynford, Day-Phillips had stated that Winter Whiskey would be pointed for the Cup and Saucer, with the ultimate goal for his campaign being the $250,000 Coronation Futurity over 1 1/8 miles on the main track here Nov. 1.

More recently, however, she had considered using Wednesday's Frost King, a seven-furlong race for Ontario-sired horses, as the gelding's final Coronation stepping-stone.

"We were leaning toward the Frost King, because that's sort of a known commodity," said Day-Phillips. "We know he likes the dirt, and we know he likes seven furlongs.

"I was shying a little bit away from the Cup and Saucer, because I didn't think he'd get a chance to be on the turf beforehand."

Winter Whiskey's move Friday, despite its brevity, was enough to put him back on a Cup and Saucer course.

"I think he looks very comfortable on turf," said Day-Phillips. "Jono said he felt really nice on it."

'Legends' to be honored

The Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame will honor the latest round of "Legends of the Past" at a special ceremony here Oct. 17.

The Thoroughbred "Legends" who will be inducted by acclamation into the category this year are Queensway, Ace Marine, Elizabeth Arden Graham, and Frank Conklin.

Queensway, a filly, won the 1932 Queen's Plate, then run as the King's Plate, at the former Woodbine Park (later known as Greenwood) in east end Toronto.

Owned and bred by Bob Cowie and trained by Harry Giddings Jr., Queensway went on to win the Breeders' Stakes at Woodbine Park and the Prince of Wales at Thorncliffe Park. Those races now constitute the Canadian Triple Crown, which was not created until 1959.

Lou Cauz, managing director of the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame, is trying to locate any family members of the late Bob Cowie in order that they may attend the ceremony. Cauz can be reached at Woodbine at (416) 675-3993, ext. 2399.

Ace Marine captured the Queen's Plate in 1955, the final year the race was run at Woodbine Park.

Owned by Larkin Maloney and trained by Yonnie Starr, Ace Marine also captured the Prince of Wales and Breeders' Stakes, plus two divisions of the Plate Trial, at six furlongs and a mile and 70 yards.

Ace Marine was honored as Canada's 1955 horse of the year. He went on to win the Dominion Day and Canadian Maturity in 1956 at the "new" Woodbine.

Florence Nightingale Graham was born in nearby Woodbridge, Ont., in 1884 and spent her first 24 years there.

Later, as Elizabeth Arden, she was sole proprietor of the highly successful cosmetics business of that name and became the owner of Maine Chance Farm in Kentucky.

Her runners included Jet Pilot, winner of the 1947 Kentucky Derby.

Frank R. Conklin of Brantford, Ont., made his mark as one of the top commercial breeders of yearlings in Canada from 1946 until his death in 1963.

Horses bred at Conklin's Midway Farm included Crafty Lace, Canada's Horse of the Year in 1962.