10/18/2007 11:00PM

Two trainers shoot for rare double

EmailETOBICOKE, Ontario - Francois Rohaut and Todd Pletcher may have little in common in geographic terms but will share one distinction here Sunday as the only trainers with starters in both the $2 million Canadian International and $1 million E.P. Taylor Stakes.

Rohaut, based in France, will send out Irish Wells in the Grade 1 Canadian International, a 1o1/2-mile turf race, and Mrs. Lindsay in the Grade 1 E.P. Taylor, a 1 1/4-mile turf race for fillies and mares.

Pletcher, based in New York but a presence in every major racing jurisdiction, plans to be here to saddle Sunriver in the Canadian International and Safari Queen in the E.P. Taylor.

The only trainer to pull off the International-Taylor double was Luca Cumani, with Infamy and Sudden Love in 1988.

The 3-year-old filly Mrs. Lindsay could get Rohaut's day off to a good start in the E.P. Taylor as the widely acknowledged horse to beat.

Mrs. Lindsay became a Group 1 winner in the Prix Vermeille at Longchamp on Sept. 16.

"We'd considered running her in the Arc, but it would have been too expensive," said Rohaut, noting that Mrs. Lindsay would have had to be supplemented to the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe. "There was a race in Italy for her, but it wasn't very interesting, so we decided to bring her here."

Mrs. Lindsay is the 2-1 favorite in the morning line for the E.P. Taylor, while Safari Queen is the third choice at 9-2.

Safari Queen was going well earlier this season, winning Grade 3 races over 1 1/2 miles of turf at Gulfstream and Keeneland and finishing second to the Breeders' Cup-bound Honey Ryder in Belmont's Grade 2 Sheepshead Bay over 1 3/8 miles on turf. But the 5-year-old Safari Queen has disappointed in her last two starts, and may find it difficult to regroup here.

Irish Wells and Sunriver are both 8-1 in the morning line for the Canadian International.

Irish Wells, a 4-year-old colt, won the Group 2 Grand Prix de Deauville, a 1 9/16-mile race over soft going, for the second consecutive year in his last start on Aug. 26.

"He was due to run in Milan last Sunday but we knew the week before that the ground would be firm, so we decided to send him here," said Rohaut, who walked the turf course here Friday morning. "We were right; this ground is good for him."

Sunriver dueled for the lead and faltered very late to finish second by a head in his last race, the Grade 1 Man o' War over 1 3/8 miles of firm going. Although he finished third in last year's Belmont, the Canadian International will be Sunriver's longest race on the turf.

Pletcher has won 13 stakes races here dating back to 1998, including the 2005 E.P. Taylor with Honey Ryder. Mrs. Lindsay and Irish Wells will be the first starters in Canada for Rohaut.

Soft turf would benefit Linda's Lad

With soft turf a distinct possibility, those looking for a serious sleeper in the Canadian International might consider Linda's Lad, an English-bred 4-year-old who has shipped in from Keeneland for trainer Eddie Kenneally.

Linda's Lad raced in France at 2 and in England at 3 for trainer Andre Fabre, winning 4 of 11 starts and finishing in the money eight times.

Since being sent over to Kenneally at the beginning of July, Linda's Lad has finished ninth in the Grade 2 Bernard Baruch at Saratoga and a close fourth here in the Grade 2 Sky Classic.

"His race in the Sky Classic was a good race, but the turf was very firm that day," said Kenneally. "He's a very nice horse; he just needs soft ground. The races he won in Europe were all on soft turf."

John Velazquez, here to ride Safari Queen, has picked up the mount on Linda's Lad.

How far can Essential Edge carry her speed?

Essential Edge stole a march on her opponents in the Grade 2 Canadian here Sept. 16, leading throughout to prevail by a neck in the 1o1/8-mile turf race, which was her longest test to date.

On Sunday, Essential Edge will be looking to engineer an even more major theft in the E.P. Taylor.

"We could be the only speed again, which is all right," said Eric Coatrieux, who trains Essential Edge. "She's never run this far, of course, but she's doing great. This is about as good as I've ever had her."

Coatrieux will be saddling his third entrant in the E.P. Taylor, having sent out Ambitious Cat to finish third in 2005 and fourth last year.

Jono Jones, the hottest stakes rider on the grounds, retains the mount on Essential Edge.

Bit of history on Sans Souci Island's side

Sealy Hill, who rallied smartly to finish second in the Canadian, will be getting plenty of attention in the E.P. Taylor.

But Sans Souci Island, the only other 3-year-old in the lineup, is being accorded little respect.

Owned by Bill Graham and trained by Roger Attfield, Sans Souci Island has won 3 of 5 starts and is coming off her first stakes score here in the Carotene, a 1 1/8-mile turf race for Ontario-foaled 3-year-old fillies.

"She's coming back in two weeks off a decent little race," said Attfield. "She's doing very well, and the distance is perfect for her.

"She'll just have to go out there and run her best race yet."

Graham, who also bred Sans Souci Island in partnership with Bill Werner, offers another perspective.

"Thirty years ago, with Majestic Kahala, we weren't supposed to be in this race," said Graham. "She ran in it, and won it."

The 3-year-old Majestic Kahala, trained by Mort Hardy, won the 1977 E.P. Taylor at odds of 10-1.

Mike Smith, who will ride Sans Souci Island for the first time, won the 1999 E.P. Taylor aboard Insight.

* All entrants for both the Canadian International and E.P. Taylor were in their stalls here by 11 a.m. on Friday in compliance with Woodbine's stakes race surveillance program. Blood samples were taken Friday afternoon and horses were to be subject to random spot checks by security until full surveillance kicks in at 8 a.m. on Sunday.