06/16/2002 11:00PM

Two turns suit Knight


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Questing Knight, coming off a sensational effort in his first attempt around two turns, heads a seven-horse allowance field of Ontario-sired runners in Wednesday's seventh race at Woodbine.

Questing Knight, an Ascot Knight gelding trained by Mike DePaulo, showed only brief speed in his only 2-year-old start. DePaulo said a troubled shin kept Questing Knight from competing extensively at 2.

"He'd trained quite well as a 2-year-old," DePaulo said. "We thought he was going to be a good 2-year-old, but he ended up bucking a shin, so we sent him home."

Questing Knight finished second in his season opener, but was a non-threatening fourth a month later on April 21. After another runner-up placing in his first outing under Patrick Husbands on May 18, he won a 1 1/16-mile maiden special weight race with ease after being checked on the first turn.

DePaulo said the addition of blinkers might have been instrumental in Questing Knight's turnaround.

"When he was second [May 18], Patrick thought he should have won," DePaulo recalled. "He said the horse was on and off the bridle, and suggested that we put some blinkers on him. Patrick thought he'd focus a little more. Whether [his improvement] can be attributed to that or the distance, I'm not sure, but he certainly ran well."

Questing Knight breezed a half-mile over the main track last Thursday in 48 seconds, which was the fastest of 13 moves at the distance.

"He got to stretch his legs a little," DePaulo said. "He worked nice and easy. Husbands was aboard, and we left the blinkers off. He's doing great."

Questing Knight is owned by Overheath Stable, which campaigned another son of Ascot Knight trained by DePaulo, stakes winner Festive Knight, during the late 1990's.

Rounding out the field for the 1 1/16-mile race will be Dancing at Midnite, Sovereign Attire, Babe's Jubilee, Delray Sam, Thank You Sir, and Orchard Street.

Thank You Sir should be well backed off his fourth-place finish in the restricted Steady Growth Stakes, for which he was awarded an 88 Beyer Speed Figure. He was previously a close second in a seven-furlong allowance in his first start in nearly five months.

Dancing at Midnite made quite a splash when he debuted in a seven-furlong maiden special May 18, winning at 42-1 while beating Questing Knight. A full brother to stakes winner Devil Valentine, Dancing at Midnite was fourth in his only subsequent appearance, in a 1 1/8-mile allowance.

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