03/31/2010 11:00PM

Two speedsters prep for Woodstock


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - The rapid American 3-year-olds Wildcat Frankie and Western Smoke, both prepping for the April 25 Woodstock Stakes, will clash in a five-furlong, $93,000 allowance race Saturday at Woodbine.

Wildcat Frankie was part of trainer James Hatchett's string at Calder, where he won his debut by 15 1/2 lengths in December. He got his second straight Beyer Speed Figure in the mid-90s next out when second in the Spectacular Bid Stakes at Gulfstream.

Wildcat Frankie cleared his first allowance condition going a mile around one turn while receiving only an 80 Beyer on Feb. 6, a performance that swayed Hatchett into thinking that the son of Wildcat Heir might be best as a sprinter.

Hatchett said Wildcat Frankie was softened up in a speed duel last time when sixth behind D' Funnybone in the Grade 2 Hutcheson Stakes at Gulfstream. Wildcat Cat Frankie set pressured fractions of 22.37 and 45.10 seconds in the seven-furlong race.

"That wasn't the way the race was supposed to set up," Hatchett said. "We were just going to sit outside, let the speed go, and make our run, but he broke half a step slow. The jock got a little excited and sent him, which he wasn't supposed to do, because the horse is very rateable. Those fractions cooked him, with another horse out there laying on him."

Wildcat Frankie has made all four of his starts on dirt, but Hatchett said he has reason to believe that the gelding will handle the Woodbine Polytrack.

"He's a very sensible, very smart horse," Hatchet explained. "The way he is conformation-wise, he should be able to run pretty good on the Poly, but we won't know until we run. This looks like a tough race. We love the five-eighths, but we don't love having the 1-hole again. There's a lot of speed in the field."

The Steve Asmussen-trained Western Smoke won his last three outings at 2, all in stakes on the dirt, by a combined total of 21 lengths.

Western Smoke graduated at first asking going 4 1/2 furlongs in his lone synthetic track try on the Polytrack at Keeneland. He has been on the sidelines for seven months, and was working at Sam Houston and Fair Grounds during February and March.

Fastin Bear, Legal Review, and Teton Pass complete the field.

Fastin Bear defeated Legal Review here while capturing his last start Sept. 7 in the restricted Simcoe Stakes.

Legal Review subsequently won the Bull Page and then completed his 2-year-old season with a fourth in another stakes for Ontario-sired juveniles, the Frost King.