06/28/2010 12:00AM

Weight helps Grand Adventure


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Grand Adventure certified his credentials as a top-notch turf runner here Sunday, registering his second stakes win in as many starts at the meeting in the $307,100 King Edward Stakes.

The Grade 2 King Edward, for 3-year-olds and up, was run over one mile of turf after being contested at 1 1/8 miles in recent seasons.

"He did what he had to do, and he did it very nicely," said trainer Mark Frostad, who watched Grand Adventure score by a measured length over Rahy's Attorney. Patrick Husbands rode Grand Adventure. "As Patrick said, his ears were up all the way. The other horse came to him and got within a length, but I think he'd have kicked on again if he had to."

A Kentucky-bred 4-year-old colt who races for Sam-Son Farm, Grand Adventure was doubling up after winning the Grade 3 Connaught Cup over seven furlongs on grass in his local seasonal debut.

Grand Adventure was carrying 118 pounds and receiving five pounds from runner-up Rahy's Attorney in the King Edward.

Both Frostad and Ian Black, who trains Rahy's Attorney, believed the weight differential was a factor, especially since the King Edward was run on a turf course rated good but completed in a time almost five seconds off the course record.

"On that kind of turf, I think it's significant," Frostad said.

Black said: "On that kind of going, it means something."

Rahy's Attorney, who finished a troubled sixth behind Grand Adventure in the Connaught Cup, should proceed to the July 24 Nijinsky, a Grade 2 race that he won last year at 1 1/4 miles. This year, the $300,000 Nijinsky will be run over 1 1/8 miles.

The immediate future for Grand Adventure, who is a long-term candidate for the Grade 1, $1 million Woodbine Mile on Sept. 19, is less certain.

Frostad conceded that prior to the King Edward he had been open to the possibility of running back Grand Adventure in the Grade 2 Highlander over six furlongs of turf here on Queen's Plate Day, Sunday.

"We'd toyed with the idea, if he'd had an easy race on a nice, firm turf course," Frostad said. "But after a taxing race like Sunday's, with the turf soft, we'll have to go back to the drawing board."

Exhi romps in Victoria Park

The Victoria Park, an open 1 1/8-mile race for 3-year-olds, has been devolving into one of the less compelling features on the Woodbine stakes schedule. The Victoria Park may have hit a new low Sunday as just four horses went to the post in what amounted to nothing more than a benefit performance for Exhi.

Trained by Todd Pletcher, Exhi had shipped in to win the 1 1/16-mile Marine by 4 1/2 lengths on May 29 and scored by eight in the Victoria Park under returning rider Robby Albarado.

Exhi picked up $94,500 for his limited exertions, including the $4,500 designated for the fifth-place finisher that reverted to the winner when So Elite was scratched.

Ward goes from success to success

Owner and trainer Wesley Ward continued his roll here last Saturday by sending out Final Mesa to romp under Eibar Coa in the $154,500 Shady Well for 2-year-old fillies.

Ward had won the first 2-year-old stakes of the meeting, the $150,400 Clarendon, with the 2-year-old Madman Diaries one week earlier.

"I've had a wonderful run there so far," said Ward, who watched both five-furlong stakes from his Keeneland base and has compiled an overall record of 7-7-1 from 17 starters at the meeting. "Woodbine has been very kind and accommodating."

The opposition has been accommodating, too, as Madman Diaries won by 9 1/4 lengths and Final Mesa by 7 3/4 lengths.

It was Final Mesa, however, who elicited superlatives from Ward after she recorded her third win in as many starts while earning a career-high Beyer Speed Figure of 92.

"She's something very, very special," Ward said. "From what I've seen in the mornings, which has come to fruition in the afternoons, I think she's probably the best I've ever trained and I've trained some nice horses."

Ward plans to have Final Mesa make her next start on Aug. 6 at Del Mar in the Grade 3, $150,000 Sorrento at 6 1/2 furlongs.

Madman Diaries may also head there for the Grade 2, $150,000 Best Pal, a 6 1/2-furlong race on Aug. 8.

Local runners come up short

Locally based Biofuel and Bay to Bay both were on the road last weekend and performed creditably in losing efforts.

Biofuel, a Kentucky-bred trained by Reade Baker, finished third in the Grade 1 Mother Goose at Belmont, while Bay to Bay, a Florida-bred trained by Brian Lynch, ran second in the Grade 3 Boiling Springs at Monmouth.

Regular rider Eurico Rosa Da Silva was aboard Biofuel, who was beaten 2 1/4 lengths in the 1 1/16-mile Mother Goose.

"Everything went all right, until she missed the break," said trainer Reade Baker, who watched Biofuel trail the field of five after beginning slowly. "She's never been that tired before after a race. But she's never had to beat good horses, in good time, on a tough track."

Despite her defeat, Biofuel earned a career-high Beyer Speed Figure of 93.

Baker has designated Belmont's Grade 1 Coaching Club American Oaks, a 1 1/8-mile race at Saratoga on July 24, as Biofuel's next target.

Bay to Bay, breaking from the outside post in the Boiling Springs over 1 1/16 miles of turf, also was compromised by a slow pace but rallied to finished just 1 1/4 lengths behind the winner.

"She was a victim of circumstances," said Lynch, who is considering Saratoga's Grade 2 Lake George, a 1 1/8-mile turf race on July 28, for Bay to Bay's next appearance.

Jockeys cited for whip violations

Two stewards' rulings, released Sunday, cited jockeys Da Silva and David Clark for whip infractions aboard recent winners.

Da Silva has been fined $200 for striking Michael's Bad Boy "in an excessive manner, characterized by unreasonable quantity," during the stretch run of the ninth race here June 20.

Clark will serve a one-day suspension Wednesday and has been fined $300 for striking Bermuda Reef "more than three times in succession, not giving a chance to respond" during the stretch run of the fifth race here June 23.

The whip offense was Clark's second and came within year of the first.