09/12/2001 11:00PM

Win City takes aim at winner's circle

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ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Queen's Plate runner-up Win City will prep for the Grade 2 Ohio Derby in the Grade 3, $107,800 Col. R. S. McLaughlin Handicap at Woodbine.

The $300,000 Ohio Derby will be run at Thistledown on Sept. 29.

Win City was victorious in three consecutive stakes heading into the June 24 Queen's Plate, Canada's top race for 3-year-olds. He closed five-wide in the 1 1/4-mile event to finish second, a half-length behind Dancethruthedawn. Win City turned the tables on Dancethruthedawn in the second leg of the Canadian Triple Crown, the Prince of Wales Stakes at Fort Erie on July 22. Dancethruthedawn opened up a clear lead at the eighth pole, but Win City rallied powerfully to nail her on the wire.

Trainer Bob Tiller had hoped to run Win City last month in the West Virgina Derby at Mountaineer Park, or in the Grade 1 Travers at Saratoga, but he didn't make either race. "We were looking at the West Virginia Derby until he came up with some mucus," Tiller said. "He had an ankle sprain before the Travers, and missed a week of training. We gave him a chance to get over those minor problems, and they appear to be cleared up. He's doing fine."

Delaware-based Wedlock was one of five other 3-year-olds entered in the 1 1/8-mile test, but trainer Graham Motion said Wednesday that Wedlock probably won't make the race because of the long delays crossing the U.S.-Canada border.

Constant Montpellier will ride Win City, the 124-pound highweight.

Rounding out the McLaughlin field are Devil Valentine, Magic Flute, Brushing Bully and Thatsthebottomline.