06/20/2006 11:00PM

Wanna Runner in scene shift


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Wanna Runner, the California invader who will be favored in Sunday's $1 million Queen's Plate, changed his routine on Wednesday morning by taking his exercise over the training track for the first time. He had been training over the main track.

According to Seirge LeBlanc, who gallops horses here for trainer Mike Doyle and has been Wanna Runner's partner since he arrived last week, the change certainly didn't faze the well-traveled gelding.

"He's classy," said LeBlanc. "He walks out there, whether it's the main track or training track, and even though he'd never been there before it's like he's been there for 100 years. He just looks around, at the other horses, and decides when he's ready to go. He's a lovely animal to be around."

Wanna Runner, who is trained by Bob Baffert, will have regular rider Victor Espinoza in the irons for the Queen's Plate, a 1 1/4-mile race for Canadian-bred 3-year-olds.

The Queen's Plate field was to be drawn Thursday and a field of 13 was expected.

The connections of all potential Queen's Plate entrants were required to declare their candidacy no later than 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday morning, in accordance with Woodbine's new big-race surveillance policy.

Sterwins, who will be making his stakes debut in the Queen's Plate for the high-profile team of trainer Todd Pletcher and jockey John Velazquez, visited the main track for the first time on Wednesday and jogged a mile under local exercise rider Louise McDonald. McDonald was the regular exercise rider for Wando, winner of the Canadian Triple Crown in 2003.

Sterwins is here with assistant trainer Ginny DePasquale and groom Jesus Villa.

Edenwold, who had his final major workout for the Queen's Plate last Wednesday, visited the main track Wednesday along with his regular rider, Emile Ramsammy.

"He two-minute-licked a mile," said Josie Carroll, who trains Edenwold for Jim and Alice Sapara. "He went in 1:56 or 1:57.

"I thought he was pretty fit. He just needed to stretch his legs today."

Canada's champion 2-year-old colt after winning three consecutive sprint stakes here last summer, Edenwold is coming into the Queen's Plate off a third-place finish in the 1 1/8-mile Plate Trial here June 4.

Edenwold was beaten 1 1/2 lengths in the Plate Trial, which was won by Pipers Thunder with Ascot Bill a length back in second.

Both Pipers Thunder and Ascot Bill also are slated to return for the Queen's Plate, but Malakoff, a runway winner of the Grade 3, 1 1/16 mile Marine here May 20, looms as the top local hopeful.