11/18/2005 12:00AM

Win would be gravy for Baker

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Michael Burns Photo Ltd.
Perigee Girl, winning the Victorian Queen, runs in the Glorious Song.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Trainer Reade Baker already has enjoyed a career year at Woodbine, with meet-leading totals of 10 stakes wins and almost $3.8 million in purse money heading into the final four weekends of the meeting.

Baker will be looking to put some icing on the cake before heading south for the winter, beginning with Perigee Girl here in Sunday's $139,875 Glorious Song Stakes for 2-year-old fillies.

Perigee Girl, owned by Dick Bonnycastle's Harlequin Ranches, Park Stud, and D. Morgan Firestone, has won 2 of 4 starts, all under jockey Jim McAleney in Ontario-sired company, including the six-furlong Victorian Queen Stakes here Oct. 5. In her last appearance, when she stretched out to 1 1/16 miles for the South Ocean, Perigee Girl appeared to be headed for victory but tired in the final furlong and finished third.

"She might not want to go around two turns," said Baker, "but she got caught tracking a faltering pace."

Baker said he believes the seven furlongs of the Glorious Song will not be a problem for Perigee Girl, and he expects her to relax better than she did in her victory in the Victorian Queen.

U R Flashy, also trained by Baker, set the pace in that race, and Perigee Girl launched her bid on the final turn and opened up a 2 1/2-length lead in midstretch, which shrunk to one length at the wire.

"I think she moved quickly in the Victorian Queen simply because U R Flashy had been training so well into the race that [McAleney] thought she just might keep going," said Baker.

McAleney will be elsewhere Sunday, riding Nicely Done for trainer Malcolm Pierce, since Baker originally had not planned to run Perigree Girl. Jockey Daniel David will ride Perigee Girl from post 1, and Baker said he'd like to see David take her off the pace a little bit.

Plans for other Baker runners

Baker said he expects to see action in at least two additional stakes at the meeting, with Silver Bird eyeing the Bessarabian on Dec. 3 and Classical Miss eyeing the Dec. 4 Ontario Lassie.

Both stakes are worth $150,000. The Bessarabian is a Grade 3 race at seven furlongs for fillies and mares, and the Ontario Lassie is a 1 1/16-mile race for Ontario-foaled 2-year-old fillies.

Silver Bird notched her lone stakes win in the 2003 Glorious Song, but has placed in eight others while earning $567,138.

Classical Miss is winless in seven starts, but finished third in the 1 1/16-mile Princess Elizabeth at Woodbine two starts ago on Oct. 22.

Perigee Girl and Classical Miss will be wintering at the Harlequin Ranches farm in Florida. Gold Strike and Bosskiri, 3-year-old fillies who won stakes for Baker here this year, already are on the scene there.

Gold Strike, winner of the Selene and Woodbine Oaks, is a leading contender for the Sovereign Award in her division.

Judiths Wild Rush, winner of the seven-furlong Vigil and 6 1/2-furlong Bold Venture and a candidate in Canada's champion sprinter balloting, will head a contingent of 10 Baker runners based at Gulfstream Park this winter.

Others scheduled to be in that party are Edmonton, a 2-year-old gelding who won his only start here recently; Chasin Tiger, a 3-year-old colt who won a pair of sprints here this year; and Cuba, a 4-year-old colt who has been based in New York with trainer Tom Bush and placed in two stakes at Woodbine this season.

Raylene retired to breeding shed

Baker also reports that Raylene, a 5-year-old mare owned by Calmar Stable and Ranch, has been retired and will be leaving Monday for the breeding shed in Kentucky.

Raylene, who was based here with Baker since the summer of 2004, returned this fall following a grueling Western Canada campaign and finished fifth as the favorite in the Maple Leaf Stakes.

A Kentucky-bred daughter of Tabasco Cat, Raylene was based in Alberta before joining Baker and was that province's horse of the year and champion 3-year-old filly in 2003. She also was Alberta's champion 2-year-old filly.

Raylene won 16 races, including 13 stakes, and finished second seven times and third three times while earning $799,945.

Meet's last Wednesday stakes

This week's $125,000 Frost King, a seven-furlong race for Ontario-sired 2-year-olds, will be the final Wednesday night stakes race of the meeting.

Leading candidates for the Frost King include Foxy Money, who is 2 for 2, including a win in the six-furlong Bull Page for Ontario-sired colts and geldings Oct. 15; Atlas Shrugs, a closing fourth in the Bull Page; and Bad Hat, an impressive winner at five furlongs in his only start.

Next weekend's features will be Saturday's Display for 2-year-olds and Sunday's Sir Barton for Ontario-sired 3-year-olds and upward. Both the Display and the Sir Barton are 1 1/16-mile races worth $125,000.

Previous runnings of the Sir Barton here have been restricted to Ontario-sired 3-year-old colts and geldings. There were seven 3-year-olds, eight older horses, and one mare nominated to the Sir Barton this year.

The mare, Kissedbyaprince, worked four furlongs in 49.80 on the training track Friday morning.

Trainer Mike DePaulo said Kissedbyaprince probably would bypass the Sir Barton in favor of the Bessarabian.

Barbeau Ruckus, a 6-year-old gelding who is a leading contender for the Sir Barton, worked five furlongs on the main track in 1:01.80 Friday for trainer Ross Armata.

* Jockey Rui Pimentel will be sitting out the Sunday, Wednesday, and Thursday cards after withdrawing his appeal of a three-day suspension issued Sept. 14.