05/08/2005 11:00PM

Verne's Baby on accelerated Plate program


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Verne's Baby hasn't made a wrong move yet, extending his winning streak to three with a game victory in last Saturday's seven-furlong Queenston at Woodbine.

Although there appears to be no shortage of talent on the part of Verne's Baby, a shortage of experience looms as his worst enemy on the road to the Queen's Plate.

"It's too bad, there just isn't much time," said Sid Attard, who trains Verne's Bay for owner-breeder George Bigliardi. "He's a nice horse."

The $1 million Queen's Plate, at 1 1/4 miles, goes here June 26.

Verne's Baby was making just his third career start in the Queenston, having won his debut over five furlongs here last Dec. 11. He repeated at the same distance on April 23. Both races were run in sloppy going.

"I didn't think he was tight enough for the Queenston," said Attard, after watching Verne's Baby turn back a spirited challenge from Enough Is Enough to prevail by a head. "He had never even worked more than five furlongs."

Verne's Baby, who earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 83 for his Queenston score, is nominated to the Grade 3, $150,000 Marine, an open 1 1/16-mile race for 3-year-olds here May 21. While Attard does not envision two turns being a problem, he is not committed to that spot.

"He will do what you ask him to do," said Attard. "I would like to go in the Plate. I think he will go all day, this horse."

Despite his potential, Verne's Baby remains a green runner. He has tended to lose focus in his races, prompting some observers to suggest he would benefit from the addition of blinkers.

"I don't know why he keeps looking around," said Attard, noting that Verne's Baby has shown no such tendency during the mornings while working in company.

Because Verne's Baby won the Queenston, Attard would require the permission of the stewards to race him in blinkers, but his current inclination is not to mess with success.

Hard race for Enough Is Enough

Enough Is Enough, winner of the 1 1/16-mile Kingarvie here on the closing day of the 2004 meeting, was making his first start of the season and ran extremely well in defeat.

"He was awesome," said Steve Attard, who trains Enough Is Enough and is a co-owner along with John Milloy and Sheldon Pettle.

"He ran his eyeballs out. I'm worried now that he ran too hard, and he's going to knock himself out."

Enough Is Enough also is nominated to the Marine but has other options.

"I will have to see how he come out of this race," said Attard.

Sam-Son prospects run well

Sam-Son Farm and trainer Mark Frostad unveiled their Queen's Plate and Woodbine Oaks candidates here Saturday, with both Dance With Ravens and Between the Clouds delivering winning efforts.

Dance With Ravens had won his maiden in the Grade 3, 1 1/16-mile Grey Stakes here last October in his third career start and first over the main track.

After wintering in Florida, Dance With Ravens resurfaced at Keeneland on April 23 and was a solid third in a first-level allowance over 1 1/8 miles of yielding turf.

Competing at the same classification but over 1 1/16 miles of dirt here Saturday, Dance With Ravens took charge early under Todd Kabel and led throughout to prevail by a neck.

"The colt had nothing to run at," said Frostad. "He was kind of loafing along, and they damn near caught him."

Dance With Ravens is nominated for the Marine but Frostad said he would make his next start in the 1 1/8- mile Plate Trial here June 5.

"He was coming back in two weeks," said Frostad. "He will get a good break now."

Between the Clouds was making her third career start and local debut in a 1 1/16-mile first-level allowance for fillies and mares.

After finishing a closing fourth in her debut at Fair Grounds Feb. 20, Between the Clouds won her maiden there March 13 and then was a late scratch following a paddock accident at Keeneland.

Last Saturday, Between the Clouds moved strongly around the far turn en route to a 4 1/2-length victory with Kabel aboard for the first time.

"She's still pretty green," said Frostad. "She was jumping all over, as soon as she got to the lead. She didn't know where she was."

Between the Clouds is nominated to the Grade 3, $250,000 Selene, an open 1 1/16-mile race for 3-year-old fillies here May 22. Frostad suggested, however, that she would go straight to the $500,000 Woodbine Oaks, a 1 1/8-mile race for Canadian-bred 3-year-old fillies on June 12.

Dances With Ravens and Between the Clouds both came up a bit light in the Beyer department, with Dance With Ravens earning a 75 and Between the Clouds a 65.

Canadian prices on Kentucky Derby

They may not have been quite as spectacular as the payoffs at Churchill Downs, but the Canadian prices on the Kentucky Derby were stunning nonetheless.

Giacomo returned $98.30. The $2 exactor payoff was $8,661.40 and the $2 triactor came in at $130,078.60. The return for the $1 superfecta of Giacomo-Closing Argument-all-all returned $14,751.50.

A total of $65 was wagered on the winning exactor combination from a net pool of $281,720. The net triactor pool was $455,275, including $7 of winning tickets.

The net superfecta pool of $118,012 included $8 in winning tickets.

The net win-place-show handle was $797,323.