07/08/2003 11:00PM

'Wisdom' continues comeback

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ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Stakes winner Early Wisdom is one of five runners entered for Friday's Woodbine feature, a second-level allowance race for 3-year-olds and up.

Early Wisdom, a son of late-blooming stakes winners Whiskey Wisdom and Early Blaze, showed promise two years ago in October of his 2-year-old season, when he won a two-turn maiden special weight race by open lengths. He was then sidelined until last July 11, when he was well beaten in a six-furlong allowance race.

Shortly thereafter, Early Wisdom switched trainers, going from Brian Ottaway to Barb Pirie, who was married to jockey Jerry Baird last Friday, and now goes by the name Barb Baird.

Early Wisdom subsequently ran third in an Ontario-sired allowance race, and then won the Grade 3 McLaughlin Handicap at 34-1 while receiving a Beyer Speed Figure of 103. He was shelved for the remainder of 2002 after being eased in the Grade 3 Durham Cup Handicap Oct. 5.

Early Wisdom went on Lasix for his only start this year, which was at this level and distance June 22. He raced with a slow pace after getting bumped at the break that day, and began to weaken on the far turn, finishing fifth.

Robert Landry retains the mount on Early Wisdom, who should be much fitter for this $74,400 race.

Also entered in the 1 1/16-mile race are Recite, Vany's Forum, Acumen, and Pat's Expectation.

Vany's Forum and Pat's Expectation finished second and third, ahead of Early Wisdom, on June 22.

Trained by Paul Attard, Vany's Forum has finished second in both of his starts this year. He won a preliminary allowance race Dec. 1.

Pat's Expectation, claimed for a bargain $16,000 in November by trainer Bosidar Pleterski, has already earned $95,897 this year.

Bond set to strike again

Trainer James Bond won a turf allowance race here last Saturday with Wake Up Kiss, and will have another sharp Saratoga shipper in action here Friday, when he runs Near and Dear in the eighth race on turf.

Near and Dear has won 3 of 5 career starts, including two New York-bred allowance races, both over Belmont turf. Her only outing this year resulted in a three-length win at Belmont May 16.

Near and Dear is eligible for Friday's race, a first-level allowance going one mile, because restricted allowance wins aren't counted against her. She has an edge over her opposition in the Beyer Speed Figure department, and has been working bullets at Saratoga.