04/22/2004 11:00PM

Will Ontheqt emerge a shooting star?


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - The Labatt Woodbine Oaks, the 1 1/8-mile race that is a major objective for any Canadian-bred 3-year-old filly, will be run June 13, in only seven weeks.

And Reade Baker, one trainer who is richer in prospects than in time when it comes to the $500,000 Oaks, will be looking to get rolling when he sends out Ontheqt in Sunday's Star Shoot.

The six-furlong Star Shoot, for 3-year-old fillies, is the first stakes race on the path to the Oaks. The seven-furlong Fury, restricted to Canadian-breds on May 9, and the 1 1/16-mile Selene, an open Grade 2 event May 23, complete the logical progression.

Another possible Oaks prep is the Lady Angela, a seven-furlong race for Ontario-sired 3-year-old fillies, which will be run May 29.

Ontheqt, owned by Baker in partnership with his wife, Janis Maine, finished first or second in each of her four starts here last year, winning her maiden at five furlongs when debuting and closing with a victory in the Fanfreluche.

"She's in good shape," said Baker, who had Ontheqt in Ocala from early January until mid-March. "She's worked well since she's been back here.

"I've nominated her to the Oaks, but I have no idea if she'll go two turns. I'll run her here [in the Star Shoot], run Silver Bird in the Fury, and we'll go from there."

Silver Bird, the first horse owned by Magna Entertainment's chief operating officer, Jim McAlpine, finished second in the 1 1/16-mile Princess Elizabeth and won the seven-furlong Glorious Song as a 2-year-old.

Although she also was nominated to the Star Shoot, Silver Bird wintered at Adena Springs Farm and Baker believes she is not quite ready for takeoff.

"She's not as fit as I'd like her to be," said Baker, who is hoping to follow the Fury-Selene-Oaks path with Silver Bird.

Fury next for My Vintage Port

My Vintage Port, Canada's champion 2-year-old filly last year, was not nominated to the Star Shoot and began her prospective march to the Oaks in an unusual manner.

A triple stakes winner last year for her trainer and co-owner Ken Parsley, My Vintage Port was sent to Keeneland to make her seasonal bow in the April 14 Appalachian, a one-mile turf race in which she finished a distant last of nine.

"She had no conditions, and that was the only race I could find," said Parsley. "It was an experiment - unfortunately, she didn't get a check for it.

"But she got a race into her; that's the main thing."

My Vintage Port had wintered in Ontario, and did not start training until late January.

Parsley wanted to get the filly going early and worked her six times here prior to the Keeneland trip; he did not care for the timing and distance of the Star Shoot.

My Vintage Port now is scheduled to run in the Fury and to use the either the Selene or Lady Angela as her final Oaks prep.

In recent years, the Lady Angela had been run during the third week of April and would have been an obvious choice for the Ontario-sired My Vintage Port's seasonal bow. But due to this year's later opening, the Lady Angela was repositioned on the stakes schedule.

"That kind of threw a wrench at me," said Parsley.

New TV home for Triple Crown

The Canadian Triple Crown races will have a new television home this year, as Headline Sports, more popularly known as "The Score," will carry all three races.

The Queen's Plate at Woodbine on June 27 will be the focus of a two-hour program beginning at 3:30 p.m that day. The Prince of Wales at Fort Erie on July 18 and the Breeders', back here at Woodbine Aug. 8, will be the highlights of one-hour programs starting at 4:30 p.m.

With the exception of those three dates, "The Score" will offer full-card coverage of all of Woodbine's Sunday cards, 12 p.m. to 6 p.m., through Sept. 5.

David Naylor, Woodbine's vice president of television, said the Sunday shows also would include live coverage of the complete Fort Erie cards and part of Hastings beginning May 1.

Also new to "The Score" will be live coverage of Woodbine's Wednesday night action from 7:30 p.m. to 10 p.m., June 9 through Oct. 13.

"We have a very good relationship with 'The Score,' because of our Monday night Standardbred racing, which we do year round with them," said Naylor. "Everything 'The Score' does goes country-wide. Plus, 'The Score' is really good at promotion, and giving events full-bore attention."

The television show "Woodbine Post Time on Sportsnet" will continue to air in Ontario, with the next segment set for Friday from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Sportsnet's national network will televise one-hour specials from Woodbine featuring the Atto Mile, Sept. 19; the Mazarine, Oct. 3; and the Pattison Canadian International, Oct. 24.

Change in video streaming policy

Woodbine has started restricting access to the live video streaming signal on its website to customers of HorsePlayer Interactive, the company's telephone/online wagering account service. Andrew Mcdonald, Woodbine's director of business development, said that there could be some exceptions.

"In areas where we do not set up wagering accounts - for example, Quebec - we will set up a user name and password so that a person can still get in and see the video streaming if they're a racing fan," Mcdonald said.