09/19/2012 11:27AM

Woodbine: Eye of the Leopard back on Polytrack for Durham Cup prep

Michael Burns
Eye of the Leopard will switch back to Polytrack for an allowance race Friday at Woodbine.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Four of the six horses in Friday’s Woodbine headliner are stakes winners, including 2009 Queen’s Plate winner Eye of the Leopard, who will switch from turf to Polytrack in the 1 1/16-mile allowance prep for the Durham Cup Stakes.

Eye of the Leopard has a win from four starts this year, which came in an optional claimer on the grass July 14. He was seventh most recently in the 10-furlong Sky Classic Stakes, which has evolved into a key race. Victorious Forte Dei Marmi came back to finish a good third in the Grade 1 Northern Dancer Turf, while Stormy Lord and Pender Harbour both exited the Grade 2 race to land a stakes.

Eurico Da Silva has the mount on Eye of the Leopard for Sam-Son Farm and trainer Malcolm Pierce.

Alpha Bettor and City Wolf ran one-two Aug. 4 in the Grade 3 Seagram Cup. Alpha Bettor notched his first stakes win after closing strongly in the 1 1/16-mile route, earning a big 100 Beyer Speed Figure under Tyler Pizarro.

“He broke half-a-step slow coming out of the gate,” Pizarro said. “We got to the outside, which ended up being the perfect spot. When I asked him, he took off.”

Danny Vella trains Alpha Bettor, who ran hot and cold during the first half of the meet.

City Wolf capped a four-race win streak under Emma Wilson in last year’s Grade 3 Durham Cup, when he got a 96 Beyer.

City Wolf was beaten double digits in his first two appearances this year, including in the Grade 3 Singspiel Stakes on the grass. He blew a clear lead in the stretch last time in the Seagram, but only lost by a half-length while registering a career-high 99 Beyer.

Reade Baker trains the Giant’s Causeway offspring City Wolf, who is a half-brother to Grade 1 winners Ghostzapper and City Zip.

James Street captured the 2010 Seagram Cup, when he was in peak form. He went on to finish second to City Wolf in the Durham Cup, before tailing off.

James Street started twice this year, finishing fifth in the Grade 3 Eclipse and then third following a layoff in the Seagram. Patrick Husbands will ride him for trainer Josie Carroll, a combination that is 8 for 28 at the meet.

Rounding out the field are the likely pacemaker, Strangrthanfiction, and Mobilizer.

Mobilizer is coupled in a Stronach Stable entry with City Wolf. He has been somewhat disappointing since his 2010 campaign, during which he ran second in the Plate Trial Stakes.