10/07/2003 11:00PM

Walzerkoenigin arrives to run in E.P. Taylor


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Woodbine is bracing for an expected influx of European runners for the Oct. 19 Canadian International and E.P. Taylor Stakes.

And the first shipper to make the scene is Walzerkoenigin, a 4-year-old who will bring strong credentials into the Grade 1, $750,000 E.P. Taylor, a 1 1/4-mile turf race for fillies and mares.

Bred in Kentucky and purchased for $275,000 at the Keeneland July 2000 yearling sale, Walzerkoenigin has been based in Germany for Gestut Schlenderhan, the farm owned by Baroness Karin Von Ullman.

Walzerkoenigin has won graded stakes in France, Germany, and Italy, taking the Group 3 Prix Chloe at Longchamp and the Group 2 Euro-Cup at Frankfurt last year and adding San Siro's Group 2 Prix Emilio Turati to her resume this May.

Then, after finishing third in the Group 2 Falmouth at Newmarket this July, Walzerkoenigin made her first trip overseas and ran fourth, beaten 3 1/4 lengths, in Arlington's Beverly D. over 1 3/16 miles of turf.

"We weren't disappointed with her race in the Beverly D.," said racing manager Paul Harley, who is here with Walzerkoenigin.

"We'd always had the E.P. Taylor laid out for her, but we couldn't stay in the States until then. So, we shipped her back to Germany, and weren't sure what her next race would be."

That next race turned out to be the Grade 1 Flower Bowl at Belmont Sept. 27, where Walzerkoenigin finished a strong second, one length behind the 3-year-old filly Dimitrova.

Heat Haze, the Beverly D. winner, finished another nose back in third.

"[Walzerkoenigin] is in very good form, obviously," said Harley. "That last run would make her right up there with some of the best fillies in the States.

"The filly seems to be reaching her peak. I think that was one of her best career performances."

The original plan called for the Flower Bowl and the Taylor to be the last two career starts for Walzerkoenigin, who will be heading to the breeding shed in Kentucky at the end of her campaign.

Harley, however, said Walzerkoenigin could make one more start, in Hong Kong in the Dec. 14 International Cup.

Strut the Stage works for International

Strut the Stage tuned up for his appearance in the Grade 1 Canadian International, a $1.5 million turf race for 3-year-olds and upward, with a seven-furlong drill of 1:29.60 over a "good" turf training track here Wednesday.

With regular rider Todd Kabel in the irons, Strut the Stage worked in company with Baie, who was ridden by exercise rider Stu Brown.

While Strut the Stage, owned by Sam-Son Farm and trained by Mark Frostad, needs no introduction, the same is not true of Baie.

A 3-year-old filly owned by the Six C Racing Stable, Baie was sent to Frostad for her run in the Taylor.

Baie has kept good company in France, finishing second in both the Group 3 Prix Cleopatra and Group 3 Prix Psyche this year and a close fourth in the Group 1 Prix de Diane (French Oaks).

In her North American bow, Baie finished fourth, beaten 7 1/4 lengths in the Group 1 Garden City Breeders' Cup over 1 1/8 miles on turf at Belmont on Sept. 7. Dimitrova was the runner-up there, beaten four lengths.

"[Baie] is a pretty useful filly, and she's training well," said Frostad, who welcomed Baie into his stable on Sept. 10. She had been trained by Francois Rohaut.

Baie's presence will make Frostad eligible for the new $50,000 bonus available to a trainer who starts horses in both the E.P. Taylor and the Canadian International, based on total points awarded to the first five finishers.

Soaring Free to be pre-entered in Mile

Frostad reports that Soaring Free, fourth-place finisher in the Shadwell Turf Mile at Keeneland last Saturday, has remained in Lexington and will be pre-entered for the Oct. 25 Breeders' Cup Mile. Soaring Free went into the Shadwell Mile off a second-place finish here in the Atto Mile.

"I didn't think that was very indicative of his best form," said Frostad of Soaring Free's Shadwell performance. "He ran a flat race, but he came out of it good."

Ontheqt in stakes prep

Ontheqt, coming off a second-place finish to subsequent Victorian Queen Stakes winner Blonde Executive in a first-level allowance race at six furlongs here Sept. 12, heads a field of six in a first-level allowance on Friday's card.

A 2-year-old owned by her trainer, Reade Baker, in partnership with his wife, Janis Maine, Ontheqt will be using Friday's $61,600 sprint as a tune-up or the $150,000 Fanfreluche, a six-furlong race for Canadian-bred fillies here Oct. 26.

"She's done well and breezed well since her last race," said Baker. "She's certainly doing better than she was then."

Ontheqt will have regular rider Jim McAleney up for her third career start Friday. In her five-furlong debut, she defeated Dream About, who later won the Grade 2 Mazarine.

Leading Ontheqt's opposition Friday is No Beans, who was an impressive winner of her opener but then ran into another Baker juggernaut, Silver Bird, in a first-level allowance here Sept. 26.

Silver Bird, a six-length winner that day, was using that race as a prep for the $250,000 Princess Elizabeth, a 1 1/16-mile race for Canadian-breds here on Sunday.