06/13/2006 11:00PM

Wanna Runner, Edenwold prep for Plate


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - A pair of candidates for the June 25 Queen's Plate had significant workouts on different fronts on Wednesday morning.

Wanna Runner, who is looming as the probable favorite for the $1 million Queen's Plate, breezed six furlongs in 1:12.17 at Belmont Park.

Here at Woodbine, local Queen's Plate contender Edenwold worked six furlongs in 1:12.40.

Wanna Runner, owned by Mike Pegram and trained by Bob Baffert, was slated to leave Belmont on Wednesday night and arrive at Woodbine on Thursday morning.

"We're going to see how he does," said Baffert. "I might breeze him there. I don't know yet; it depends."

Victor Espinoza, Wanna Runner's regular rider, is scheduled to be here for the 1 1/4-mile Queen's Plate.

Espinoza already has accompanied Wanna Runner on a couple of successful road trips this spring, guiding the gelding to victories in the 1 1/8-mile WinStar Derby at Sunland Park and the Grade 3, 1 1/16-mile Lone Star Derby.

Edenwold, Canada's champion 2-year-old male in 2005, has regular rider Emile Ramsammy in the irons for his drill here Wednesday.

"I had a couple of other workers that were going three-quarters," said Josie Carroll, who trains Edenwold for owners Jim and Alice Sapara.

"He stalked a little bit, and then finished," Carroll said. "That was his main work for the race. Now, he'll just have a little easy something, going in."

Edenwold is heading into the Queen's Plate off a third-place finish in the June 4 Plate Trial.

Making just his second start of the season, Edenwold was beaten 1 1/2 lengths in the Plate Trial after opening up his campaign with a closing second-place finish in the seven-furlong Queenston here May 6.

"He came out of the Trial in really, really good order," said Carroll. "He was much less fatigued than from the race before."

Edenwold put together a stakes triple here last summer in the six-furlong Colin, the six-furlong Vandal, and the seven-furlong Simcoe.

In two subsequent tries around two turns, Edenwold finished a close fourth in the 1 1/8-mile Coronation Futurity and fifth in the 1 1/16-mile Display.

Pyramid Park still possible for Plate

Pyramid Park, a Queen's Plate nominee trained by Michael Doyle, breezed five furlongs in 1:01.20 on the main track Wednesday.

Owned and bred by Thor Eaton, Pyramid Park faltered to finish seventh in the Plate Trial after winning a first-level Ontario-sired allowance race in very impressive fashion at 1 1/16 miles here May 12.

Pyramid Park won the Cup and Saucer at 1 1/16 miles on turf and finished second, beaten a head, in the Coronation Futurity here last fall.

Pyramid Park also has been nominated to the $100,000 Charlie Barley, an open one-mile turf race for 3-year-olds on the Queen's Plate undercard.

"I'd say there's a chance he could run in the Plate," said Doyle. "I'm going to keep it open with him and Stormkick. I wouldn't consider either of them definite."

Stormkick, owned by Hendrie Stable, was a romping winner of a "B" maiden special at 1 1/16 miles here June 7 and is scheduled to work this weekend.

Expect more competitive Hill 'n' Dale

Woodbine's decision to open up the Hill 'n' Dale Stakes to older fillies and mares this year was greeted as a step in the right direction.

The first two runnings, which were restricted to 3-year-old fillies, were one-sided spectacles won by odds-on favorites My Lordship and Lemon Maid, both of whom were trained by Malcolm Pierce and ridden by Todd Kabel.

And while the switch in conditions has not paid off immediately in terms of numbers, Saturday's Hill 'n' Dale should at least prove to be a hotly contested event, with a field of five expected for the 1 1/16-mile race.

Included in the Hill 'n' Dale field are Gold Strike, a 4-year-old who won last year's Woodbine Oaks and finished third in the Queen's Plate; Ballroom Deputy, a 5-year-old who won the Grade 3 Maple Leaf here last fall; and Flaming Heart, a 5-year-old who is coming off a second-place finish in Aqueduct's Grade 3 Next Move.

Pellegrino possible for Singspiel

Trainer Roger Attfield sent out a pair of turf aces to breeze over the turf training course here Wednesday morning, with Pellegrino getting six furlongs in 1:13.40 and Noble Stella four furlongs in 49 seconds.

Assistant trainer Rachel Halden was aboard both Pellegrino and Noble Stella.

Pellegrino, a 7-year-old horse who joined Attfield's stable last December, won Keeneland's Grade 3 Elkhorn at 1 1/2 miles in his first start for his new barn, but finished fifth when returning to Kentucky for the Grade 3 Louisville Handicap at 1 3/8 miles at Churchill Downs on May 29.

Attfield said Pellegrino could make his Woodbine debut in the $100,000 Singspiel, an overnight stakes scheduled for 1 1/2 miles on turf on the Queen's Plate program.

"The way he worked this morning, he seems in pretty good shape," said Attfield.

Noble Stella also won a Grade 3 stakes during closing week at Keeneland, taking the 1 1/2-mile Bewitch in front-running fashion.

Shipped to Belmont for her last start, Noble Stella finished a stubborn second behind the talented Honey Ryder in the Grade 2, 1 3/8-mile Sheepshead Bay.

"I'm toying with the idea of going back to New York with her," said Attfield, who has nominated Noble Stella to the Grade 2, $150,000 New York Handicap at 1 1/4 miles at Belmont on June 24. "Or, I could keep her here for the Dance Smartly."

The Grade 2, $300,000 Dance Smartly is a 1 1/8-mile turf race that will be run on July 15. Noble Stella won the Dance Smartly last year.

Pellegrino and Noble Stella both are owned by Gary Tanaka.