11/21/2011 1:39PM

Woodbine: Apres Midi fits with these


ETOBICOKE, Ontario — Apres Midi was scratched from a first-level allowance last Sunday in favor of Wednesday’s third race at Woodbine, and he should be competitive in the $40,000 claimer for nonwinners of two.

Apres Midi raced wide when he ran second following a layoff in his second start against $20,000 maidens Sept. 2. Three weeks later for $25,000, he had a terrible trip while stuck in traffic, before ending up fifth in his first try around two turns.

Trip handicappers helped to bet Apres Midi down to 3-1 in a $20,000 route Oct. 10, which he won going away, earning a 72 Beyer Speed Figure. He was claimed that day from Hall of Famer Roger Attfield by upstart trainer Steve Chircop, who has won two stakes this year with horses he had claimed.

Patrick Husbands will ride Apres Midi, who breezed five-eighths over the training track in a bullet 59.60 seconds on Nov. 12.

Thornwood Road is coming off a second at this $40,000 class behind Prized Humor, who subsequently finished a close fourth in the allowance from which Apres Midi was withdrawn.

Thornwood Road was previously in mediocre form, but might be rejuvenated under Omar Moreno, who retains the mount for trainer Joe Walls.

Top the Podium checked in four lengths behind Thornwood Road in third following a freshening Oct. 14. A son of Medaglia d’Oro, Top the Podium looked like he had a bright future when he graduated at second asking last fall, but he wasn’t an impact player in allowance races during the spring and summer.

Trainer Malcolm Pierce named jockey Emma Wilson, who replaces the sidelined Eurico Da Silva on Top the Podium.

Trainer Stuart Simon, who won Sunday’s Grade 3 Bessarabian Stakes with Atlantic Hurricane, sends out C.C. Ride, who’s coming off a substandard performance here. He won a stakes for Manitoba-breds going nine furlongs on the dirt at Assiniboia Downs in September.

Strike the Oil is winless since capturing last year’s Coronation Futurity, although he did run third in the June 5 Plate Trial Stakes, before finishing up the track in the Queen’s Plate. He was gelded during a summer layoff, and was never in the hunt when he came off the sidelines in an Oct. 30 allowance.

Cuvara was competitive against $20,000 nonwinners-of-two stock in each of his four most recent excursions. Last time, surprisingly, he employed front-running tactics and wound up second to Macallan, who came back to beat nonwinners-of-three opposition.