11/10/2011 12:37PM

Woodbine: City Wolf bids for fifth straight in Autumn


ETOBICOKE, Ontario — City Wolf, who went from his maiden win to a graded stakes score in the span of just five months, seeks his fifth straight victory Saturday at Woodbine in the $150,000 Autumn Stakes.

City Wolf has reeled off four consecutive wins here for trainer Reade Baker and jockey Emma Wilson since shipping up from Florida. He graduated in a seven-furlong maiden special May 7, and then cleared the first two allowance conditions going long, which included an authoritative triumph over 1 1/16 miles, when he earned a 97 Beyer Speed Figure.

Following a layoff Oct. 2, City Wolf took the Grade 3 Durham Cup Stakes over a quality field which included Stately Victor. He was awarded a 96 Beyer.

Baker gave credit to Wilson for City Wolf’s remarkable turnaround this year.

“His issue all his career was trying to get out,” Baker explained. “When you watched his races when [Todd] Pletcher and [Bobby] Frankel trained him, he tried to run out all the time – the jocks were always fighting him. When Emma started to get on him in Florida for me, she got him around the track without fighting him. She got him straightened out. He just keeps getting better and better, but he’s bred to be that good.”

City Wolf, a 4-year-old by Giant’s Causeway, is a half-brother to Grade 1 winners Ghostzapper and City Zip.

Trainer Mike DePaulo entered the top 3-year-old on the grounds, Pender Harbour, who won the final two legs of the Canadian Triple Crown, the Prince of Wales and Breeders’ Stakes.

Pender Harbour dusted older Ontario-sired opposition Oct. 22 in the one-mile Bunty Lawless Stakes. DePaulo said he had hoped that the Bunty Lawless would be moved from the soft turf course to the Polytrack, but it remained on the grass.

“I thought a mile and 70 yards would suit him a little better than a mile, but he ran a new top in that race,” said DePaulo, who is a devotee of the Ragozin sheets.

Other contenders in the Grade 2 Autumn include James Street and Stunning Stag.

The late bloomer James Street captured his first stakes in the Grade 3 Seagram Cup in August. He outran Stately Victor for second most recently in the nine-furlong Durham Cup.

Stunning Stag has been idle since Sept. 9, when he finished third in the Presque Isle Mile on the Tapeta surface for the second year in a row.

“That’s a speed track,” said trainer Sid Attard. “He had too much to do.”

Turf specialist Straight Story is trying a synthetic surface for the first time off a 23-length loss in a stakes for New York-breds at Belmont. He captured the Grade 3 Fort Marcy there in June.