05/26/2011 2:58PM

Woodbine: Black has hand in Eclipse and Connaught Cup


ETOBICOKE, Ontario − Trainer Ian Black will be active on the stakes front here this weekend, with Fifty Proof and Southdale entered in Saturday’s Grade 3 Eclipse and Stormy Lord set for Sunday’s Grade 2 Connaught Cup.

Both races are for 4-year-olds and upward and offer purses of $150,000. The Eclipse is scheduled for 1 1/16 miles on the Polytrack, and the Connaught Cup is scheduled for seven furlongs on turf.

Fifty Proof had distinguished himself as a long-distance turf runner here last year but will make his second straight start on the main track. In his season debut here April 22, Fifty Proof was prominent throughout under regular rider Justin Stein and scored a 1 1/4-length victory in a second-level allowance at seven furlongs.

“We’ve been trying to get him to sit off some reasonably slow fractions and finish in his works, and he’s doing that well,” Black said.

Southdale, a homebred 5-year-old, will be looking to rebound from a disappointing season debut, in which he finished last of five in the seven-furlong Vigil here May 8. Black said Southdale has worked well, including four furlongs in a bullet 47 seconds here Tuesday under exercise rider Tyler Gaskin.

Emma-Jayne Wilson retains the mount on Southdale, who became a stakes winner in last year’s running of the Eclipse.

Stormy Lord, a going concern on grass throughout his 3-year-old campaign, will make his first start since last Nov. 13 in the Connaught Cup.

“I would have liked to have a start into him, but he’s consistently breezed well at spring,” said Black. “He’s ready to go over there. He’s in good order.”Jim McAleney, who was Stormy Lord’s regular rider here last year, will be back in the saddle for the Connaught Cup.

Red Ace plans to be reevaluated

Red Ace, a Queen’s Plate hopeful trained by Steve Margolis, will not be making the trip north after finishing ninth in his last start, a 1 1/16-mile allowance at Churchill Downs on May 15.

“It was kind of disappointing,” Margolis said. “The horse had just missed on Polytrack, going two turns, and he was training really good.”

Margolis said a sloppy track in Louisville could have affected Red Ace’s performance last time out.

“The jock had him in a good spot, but he never finished,” he said. “Off that race, we couldn’t ask him to go a mile and a quarter up there.”

Instead, Red Ace has gone south and is on the farm in the Ocala area.

“We’ll give him a couple of weeks off, evaluate him, and then see what the plan is,” Margolis said. “Maybe we’ll come up there later in the year.”

Jojo’s Mojo targets Queen’s Plate

Jojo’s Mojo, who was supplemented to the Queen’s Plate for $5,000, has been entered in a 1 1/8-mile maiden race for 3-year-olds and upward here Saturday.

“He’s been training along nicely,” trainer Mike DePaulo said. “We’re hoping he can win that race, then go on to the Plate.

Jojo’s Mojo is owned by Mike Samotowka, who sent the horse to DePaulo with the Queen’s Plate in mind.

In his first appearance here, Jojo’s Mojo rallied smartly to finish a nose behind Enduring Star, who also is on the Queen’s Plate trail for trainer Mark Casse.

Maiden winners work for Plate

Seawatch, an impressive maiden winner at 1 1/16 miles here May 15, worked six furlongs in 1:14.80 under jockey Tyler Pizarro here Friday.

“He’s definitely under consideration for the Queen’s Plate,” trainer Josie Carroll said. “It’s just a question of getting him there.”

Seawatch cannot participate in next Sunday’s 1 1/8 mile Plate Trial, which is restricted to horses who were eligible for the Queen’s Plate at the time of entry. He can be supplemented to the Queen’s Plate on entry day, however, for $25,000.

Kurogane, who also was an impressive maiden winner at 1 1/16 miles in his season debut, worked five furlongs in 1:01 under jockey Emma-Jayne Wilson on Friday as he continues to prepare for the June 26 Queen’s Plate.

“He had some company,” trainer Paul Attard said. “He galloped out three-quarters in 1:13 and just continued galloping around to the three-eighths pole.”

Kurogane, who is Ontario-sired, was making his second start in the restricted maiden race here May 7. He is nominated to the Plate Trial but also has allowance options.

Costigan filly eyes Oaks

Sense of Pride breezed four furlongs in 47, the fastest of 24 workers at the distance here Friday, with jockey David Moran in the irons.

“It was a nice, easy breeze,” Carolyn Costigan said. “She went very well.”

Although Sense of Pride is a maiden after seven starts, she finished third in two 1 1/16-mile stakes last year and ran second in her two maiden races this year at the same distance.

“We’re looking at the [Woodbine] Oaks,” Costigan said. “We’re kind of sitting on the fence.”

The $500,000 Woodbine Oaks, a 1 1/8-mile race for Canadian-bred 3-year-old fillies, will be run next Sunday.

Roan Inish remains on break

Costigan won last year’s Woodbine Oaks with Roan Inish, who returned three weeks later to finish third in the Queen’s Plate.

Roan Inish has not raced since the Queen’s Plate and is taking a break at nearby Kelynack Farm.

“She’s on turnout,” Costigan said. “Hopefully, she’ll be started up back under tack in August or so.”

Roan Inish was sidelined by a stifle injury last summer while preparing for Saratoga’s Alabama Stakes.

“Larry Bramlage said he’d never seen anything like it in a racehorse,” said Costigan, who had sent Roan Inish to the Kentucky veterinarian for an examination. “He said if we just gave her the time, she’d be fine.”