06/22/2005 12:00AM

Wake at Noon looks well spotted in feature

Email

ETOBICOKE, Ontario - With the Queen's Plate front and center here this week, it is fitting that Wake at Noon, a former Plate participant, is among the leading contenders for Friday's allowance feature.

Wake at Noon is 8 years old, and his fifth-place finish in the 2000 Queen's Plate may be a distant memory. But the seven-furlong distance and company in Friday's feature should be to the liking of Wake at Noon, who was Canada's Horse of the Year in 2002 and has earned $1.65 million.

A field of six will contest the $79,900 allowance, open to nonwinners of a purse of $75,000 in 2005.

Wake at Noon ended a 14-race winless streak in an off-the-turf allowance race at a mile and 70 yards here May 15, but then finished second in the 1 1/8-mile prep for the Dominion Day Handicap here June 10.

Apprentice rider Emma Wilson will ride Wake at Noon for the first time on Friday, enabling the horse to get in with 119 pounds.

Twisted Wit, coming off a third-place finish behind a very sharp Ministers Wild Cat and Seeking the Carat in an open allowance race at 6 1/2 furlongs here June 12, also will have many supporters in Friday's feature.

A 4-year-old gelding who is a multiple stakes winner of more than $500,000, Twisted Wit will be ridden by apprentice Corey Fraser, who is running neck and neck with Wilson atop the standings.

Dominion Day shaping up

The field for next Friday's Grade 3, $200,000 Dominion Day Handicap, a 1 1/4-mile race for 3-year-olds and upward, should include the first-, second-, and fourth-place finishers from last year's Queen's Plate.

Niigon, who held off A Bit O'Gold to prevail by three-quarters of a length in the 2004 Plate, recorded his first victory since then when competing at 1 1/16 miles under second-level allowance terms here May 29.

A Bit O'Gold, who went on to win the Prince of Wales and Breeders' as well as the Sovereign Award as Canada's champion 3-year-old, has started twice this year, most recently finishing fourth in the Grade 3 Eclipse over 1 1/16 miles here May 23.

Trainer Catherine Day Phillips was ecstatic with A Bit O'Gold after watching the gelding drill five furlong in a bullet 58.60 seconds under regular rider Jono Jones here last Saturday.

"It was unbelievable, the way he did it," said Day Phillips. "It was the best he's ever breezed."

Just in Case Jimmy, beaten a length for third money but 9 1/2 lengths in total in his Plate appearance, closed strongly to finish second in the recent Dominion Day prep.

"I thought it was an excellent race," said Roger Attfield, who trains Just in Case Jimmy. "He's just gotten so nonchalant early in his races. He gets himself so far out of it, sometimes he gives himself too much to do. But, he's a legitimate closer. He always tries, anyway."

Attfield will send out Ablo for this year's edition of the Queen's Plate on Sunday.

Honolua Storm, upset winner of the Eclipse for Attfield, is a possible Dominion Day participant.

"I probably should have given him a bit more time between races," said Attfield, who had watched Honolua Storm falter to finish fifth in the Dominion Day prep.

Mobil, the 12 3/4-length winner of last year's Dominion Day, is among this year's nominees but is heading back to turf for the Grade 2, $300,000 King Edward Breeders' Cup Handicap, a 1 1/8-mile race here July 3.

Mr. J.T.L. fires bullet for Singspiel

Mr. J.T.L., a candidate for Sunday's Singspiel Stakes, worked five furlongs in a bullet 1:00.40 here Wednesday, going in company with his Attfield-trained stablemate Excellent Cut.

The $100,000 Singspiel is a 1 1/2-mile turf race for 3-year-olds and upward.

Mr. J.T.L. last saw action on March 27, winning a 1 1/2-mile turf race when he was entered for a $30,000 claiming price.

"I've been looking for another mile and a half for him," said Attfield. "I think he wants to go long, and go around a couple of turns. We'll give him a go at it, anyway."

Excellent Cut, a 5-year-old full brother to Canadian turf champion Perfect Soul, has been an exercise in frustration for Attfield, winning 1 of 16 starts but finishing second on no fewer than eight occasions.

Excellent Cut was gelded before his last start, and while he once again finished second, he did experience traffic problems.

"I thought his last race was creditable," said Attfield. "He got beaten, but it wasn't by his design. He did get squeezed a little bit. I think he was trying to win."

* Jennifer Morrison will host her second session of "Early Morning Workouts," a free program running from 8 to 10 a.m., in the trackside tent here Saturday. Morrison, a Daily Racing Form correspondent and Woodbine's morning-line oddsmaker, will be joined by jockeys Robert Landry and Emma Wilson.

* Hall of Fame jockey Sandy Hawley, now an ambassador for Woodbine and an on-air fixture for the television department's special broadcasts, will be on the second floor from 11 a.m. through 1 p.m. Saturday to sign copies of his just-released biography, "Ride of A Lifetime: The Sandy Hawley Story." It was co-written by Hawley and sportswriter Perry Lefko.