09/03/2006 11:00PM

'Westwind' has good shot at repeat


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Ride the Westwind made an auspicious debut three weeks ago at Woodbine, winning his maiden comfortably under jockey Todd Kabel. He should be well backed to double up in Wednesday's featured first race, a seven-furlong turf allowance with a purse of $62,800.

Ride the Westwind was made the 9-5 favorite in a six-furlong maiden special weight sprint on the grass on Aug. 16. He raced in midpack while saving ground on the turn, then kicked in strongly through the stretch with long strides to prevail with an 81 Beyer Speed Figure. The runner-up, Rye on the Rocks, came back to win convincingly last Friday.

Ride the Westwind, a 3-year-old trained by Mark Frostad for Sam-Son Farm, has the potential to be serious prospect. By the sire Gone West, his full brother, Surging River, won the With Approval Stakes and was third in the Grade 2 King Edward BC Handicap. His dam has also thrown two stakes-placed runners - Comet Kris and Ford Every Stream.

The other contenders in race 1 are Bold Thing, Badge of Truth, and Superior Odds.

Bold Thing captured an Ontario-sired allowance in June, but was a flat fourth over soft turf in an open first-level allowance July 21. He is coming off two consecutive runner-up placings in shorter allowance sprints on firm footing, the type of ground he appears to prefer.

Gerry Olguin will get a leg up on Bold Thing from trainer Shelley Fitzgerald, who claimed the gelding for $40,000 last October.

Badge of Truth made a positive impression in his first grass attempt last September, finishing second in the Grade 2 Summer Stakes. He subsequently finished a troubled second on dirt in the Grey BC Stakes, and trainer Malcolm Pierce gave him the winter off after he came up empty in the Display Stakes.

Badge of Truth was a well-beaten third in his season opener in June. He has been absent since running a deceptively good second in an allowance on soft ground July 21. He dueled wide on the lead before opening up a daylight advantage in the stretch, only to succumb to a closing St. Regs.

Superior Odds could be the sleeper with Woodbine's second-leading rider, Justin Stein, aboard. Formerly trained by Hall of Famer Allen Jerkens, Superior Odds surfaced here June 25 following an extended layoff with trainer Scott Fairlie, finishing far back on the main track.

Most recently, when making his grass debut in a $40,000 conditioned claimer, Superior Odds closed for fourth.