07/21/2010 1:31PM

Wando moving to Ontario for stud duty


ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Wando has been repatriated and will be standing at stud at Gustav Schickedanz’s nearby Schonberg Farm.

Wando, a Schickedanz homebred by Langfuhr out of Kathie’s Colleen, was the Canadian triple crown winner and Canada’s Horse of the Year in 2003. He retired in 2005 with a record of 11-2-2 from 23 starts and earnings of $2,566,060.

His years as a stallion at Lane’s End in Kentucky were not nearly as successful, however, and Wando is returning in search of greener pastures.

“Down there, he was a little fish in a big pond,” said Lauri Kenny, Schickedanz’s longtime farm manager.

“Maybe he’ll suit the mares here and the Ontario sires program. Sometimes when you move a horse, he catches fire.”

Wando was standing for $5,000 in Kentucky, but his stud fee here has not been set.

Wando has yet to sire a stakes winner but will have a timely chance at accomplishing that feat when two of his offspring go postward in Saturday’s $150,000 Toronto Cup.

Woodland Flute, a Schickedanz homebred trained by Mike Keogh, and D’s Wando, a $32,000 yearling purchase conditioned by Ian Black, will be attempting to give their sire a nice welcome-home present in the open 1 1/8-mile turf race for 3-year-olds.

After hinting in a pair of turf appearances here as a 2-year-old, Woodland Flute returned to that surface for his second start of the current meeting and rallied from well back to score by 5 1/4 lengths over seven furlongs.

“He’d’d had throat surgery after his first start,” Keogh said. “I think he’s strictly turf, but the distance is a worry.

“I’d rather have run him in a nonwinners of two, but there wasn’t one for him.”

D’s Wando’s quest for the Queen’s Plate came to a disappointing conclusion as the gelding finished seventh in the Plate Trial and last of 13 in the Queen’s Plate. The Toronto Cup will mark his turf debut.

“His dam, Silver Taler, won two stakes on the turf, and the Wandos look like they like it,” said Black, who trains D’s Wando for Carmen DiPaola and family.

Keogh also has noted that offspring of Wando have done well on the grass and believes their sire was much more proficient on the surface than is generally acknowledged.

“Wando possibly was better on turf,” Keogh said. “When we ran him in the Atto Mile here as a 3-year-old, he was beaten a head for third.

“And when he came back the next spring, he beat Miesque’s Approval, the horse who won the Breeders’ Cup Mile” in 2006.

Mobil well represented in Prince of Wales

Schickedanz’s only other stallion is Mobil, who had to play second fiddle to Wando on the racetrack but has had better results in the breeding shed.

Mobthewarrior, who became Mobil’s first of two stakes winners to date when he captured the restricted Frost King at seven furlongs here Nov. 4, will be one of two representatives for the stallion in Sunday’s $500,000 Prince of Wales Stakes at Fort Erie.

Mobil Unit, a Schickedanz homebred who is trained by Keogh, also is among the eight entrants in for the 1 3/16-mile Prince of Wales, which is the second leg of the triple crown for Canadian-bred 3-year-olds

The eight-horse field for the Prince of Wales includes Dark Cloud Dancer, but that colt has been cross-entered in the Toronto Cup, which drew a field of seven.

“We’ll have a look at both races and decide,” said Mark Frostad, who trains Dark Cloud Dancer for Sam-Son Farm.

The Sam-Son outfit should have a Toronto Cup starter in any event, however, as Born to Act is scheduled to make his second start of the season.

An impressive winner over six furlongs of turf in his only appearance last year, Born to Act was returning from a layoff of almost 11 months when he finished fifth in the Charlie Barley Stakes at one mile on the grass here July 3.

“He was a little rank; the rider fought him a little,” Frostad said.

Spice Route works for Nijinsky

Spice Route, winner of the Grade 3 Singspiel over 1 1/2 miles of turf in his last start here July 4, breezed four furlongs in 48.80 seconds on the training track turf course here Wednesday morning in preparation for Saturday’s Nijinsky Stakes.

The distance of the Grade 2, $300,000 Nijinsky, a turf race for 3-year-olds and up, has been cut from 1 1/4 miles to 1 1/8 miles this year.

“If I can shorten him up, like I did when I won that stake with him down in Florida, then I really won’t have to leave here,” said Roger Attfield, who trains Spice Route and owns the 6-year-old gelding in partnership with Dick Bonnycastle and Ralph Johnson.

Spice Route was cutting back from 1 3/8 miles to 1 1/8 miles when he won the Tropical Turf Handicap at Calder in December 2008.

But in the present tense, Attfield’s long-term goal for Spice Route is the Grade 1, $1 million Canadian International over 1 1/2 miles of turf here Oct. 16.

The 1 1/4-mile Sky Classic on Aug. 22 and $750,000 Northern Dancer at 1 1/2 miles on Sept. 19 are the local turf stakes stepping-stones to the Canadian International.

Spice Route was ridden by the visiting Mike Smith in the Singspiel, but Jono Jones will be aboard for the first time in the Nijinsky.

Southdale, who will be making his turf debut in the Nijinsky, breezed three furlongs in 38.80 on the turf training course here Wednesday, with his regular rider Emma-Jayne Wilson in the irons.

“He looked like he enjoyed it out there this morning,” said Black, who trains Southdale for owner/breeder Rod Ferguson.

Southdale, sidelined on his way to the Queen’s Plate last year, became a stakes winner when making his second start this season in the Grade 3 Eclipse at 1 1/8 miles.

But in his last start, which came in the Grade 3 Dominion Day over 1 1/4 miles, Southdale lacked the same kick and evened out in the late stages to finish third.