10/17/2003 12:00AM

Walzerkoenigin takes on 10 in Taylor


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Walzerkoenigin, a Germany-based filly who has been competitive against some of North America's top turf fillies and mares in two races this year, will be looking for her first Grade 1 victory in Sunday's $750,000 E.P. Taylor.

The E.P. Taylor, a 1 1/4-mile turf race, has attracted a field of 11 fillies and mares, five of whom raced in Europe this year.

Walzerkoenigin, trained by Peter Schiergen, had won two Group 2 races in Europe when she shipped to Arlington for the Aug. 16 Beverly D. and finished fourth, beaten 3 1/4 lengths in her first start with Lasix.

"There was not enough pace in the race," Schiergen said. "Then, on the last corner, they were going too quickly. That hurt her."

After returning home, Walzerkoenigin was flown back to Belmont for the Sept. 27 Flower Bowl, where she finished a length behind the 3-year-old Dimitrova and a nose before third-place Heat Haze, the Beverly D. winner.

Schiergen noted that while the Flower Bowl pace also was slow, its steadier nature suited Walzerkoenigin. Edgar Prado, who was aboard for the first time there, will be back in the irons Sunday.

Walzerkoenigin, at age 4, will be attempting to buck a Taylor trend that has seen European-based 3-year-old fillies win 17 of the last 21 runnings.

Baie and Hi Dubai are the two who fit that mold this year, but both come with question marks.

While Baie's overseas form would appear to stand her in good stead here, she is coming off a fourth-place finish in her North American debut, in Belmont's Grade 1 Garden City on Sept. 7. Baie then was transferred here to trainer Mark Frostad.

"She's been working very well here," Frostad said. "She seems geared to run a big race."

Baie will be running on Lasix for the first time Sunday, as will Hi Dubai, if she in fact makes the race.

Hi Dubai, from the high-profile Godolphin outfit, suffered a bruised heel while training Wednesday and did not go to the track the next two mornings.

"She's going the right way," said Ross Campbell, an assistant to trainer Saeed bin Suroor. "It's whether we're going to run out of time. It's not been an ideal preparation."

The others in the Taylor field are French invaders Tigertail and Mer de Corail, U.S. shippers New Economy and Volga, and locally based Inish Glora, Heyahohowdy, Diadella, and Byzantine.

Volga will be making her third consecutive appearance in the Taylor, having finished second in 2001 and third last year.