05/25/2011 1:18PM

Woodbine: Conservative drops in bid to end losing streak


ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Conservative and Coffee Break, two Gulfstream winter-raced runners, will add some intrigue to Friday’s fourth race, a $40,000 conditioned claimer scheduled for 1 1/16 miles on the turf.

The new post time for Fridays at Woodbine is 2 p.m.

Conservative is a Phipps Stable-owned 5-year-old trained by Hall of Famer Shug McGaughey, who is winless with four starters at Woodbine. His most successful local runner was Vacation, who finished third in a pair of Grade 3 stakes here in 2009.

Conservative has been mired in a slump since he put together a two-race win streak at Gulfstream in 2009, which included his maiden triumph on the grass. Perhaps the highlight of his career was a runner-up placing later that year in the Grade 2 Lexington at Keeneland.

Conservative has kept some tough company in allowance and optional claimers at a host of major American tracks. The drop to this nonwinners-of-three contest is huge, and jockey Emma Wilson should suit his closing style.

Coffee Bar showed very little in five winter excursions, all on the grass at Gulfstream. However, he was in poor form prior to a $40,000 event for nonwinners of two here last September, which he won from off the pace at 23-1.

Coffee Bar has worked two bullet half-miles at Fort Erie this month for trainer Ian Broomfield, who will give Martin Ramirez a leg up.

Evanderfield also competed at Gulfstream this year. After graduating at first asking on the dirt, he finished fourth in two straight races, including a starter allowance on the grass. In his local bow in the Wando Stakes, he was eased after encountering trouble on the far turn.

Thunder Ball and Holy Schneikies have both been ineffective on the lawn, but their stock will rise if the proceedings are moved to the Polytrack.

Thunder Ball prevailed in a $50,000 claimer in his penultimate outing on the dirt at Gulfstream. Most recently here on the Polytrack, he finished fifth in a key allowance won by James Street, who subsequently captured an optional claimer convincingly.

Holy Schneikies lacked room en route to a fourth in a seven-furlong conditioned event May 4. He commenced his 2010 campaign by parlaying a pair of sprint starts into a two-turn victory and will try to duplicate that feat here with an increase in price.

Instant Message boasts the hottest trainer-jockey combo around, Mark Casse and Patrick Husbands.