06/23/2011 2:19PM

Woodbine: Fifty Proof back on turf in King Edward Stakes


ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Fifty Proof will go back to the grass in Saturday’s $250,000 King Edward Stakes at Woodbine, following an encouraging Polytrack victory.

Fifty Proof was campaigned as a turf specialist last year, finishing second in the Grade 1 Northern Dancer Turf and fifth in the Grade 1 Canadian International.

Trainer Ian Black ran Fifty Proof twice on the Polytrack here this spring. After a winter vacation, he was a workmanlike winner in a seven-furlong optional claimer April 22. Five weeks later, he won his first stakes going 1 1/16 miles in the Grade 3 Eclipse.

Black said this move back to a mile on the grass is something of an experiment for the imposing Fifty Proof.

“We want to try him back on the turf, to see where we fit distance wise,” Black explained. “He has a lot of natural speed. This might be shorter than his best, but I still think that he’ll run a creditable race.”

Grand Adventure captured last year’s King Edward over a stellar field that included Rahy’s Attorney, earning a fat 105 Beyer Speed Figure.

Following a half-length loss in his season debut in the Grade 3 Shakertown at Keeneland, Grand Adventure tried to win the Grade 2 Connaught Cup Stakes for the second year in a row here May 29. Sent off as the 2-5 favorite, he could only manage to finish third over the boggy going.

“It was too soft for him, I guess,” trainer Mark Frostad said. “It was pretty heavy, and he’s big, heavy horse himself. He didn’t float over it like some of the others did.”

Trainer Mark Casse entered Hailstone and Silver Rock in the Grade 2 King Edward.

Hailstone rallied in the final furlong of the Connaught to finish three lengths behind the front-running Stormy Lord in second.

Silver Rock is riding the wave of a three-race win streak that began with a maiden score in February at Gulfstream. He subsequently won a first-level allowance at Keeneland and a second-level allowance at Churchill.

Arlington-based Workin for Hops prevailed as the favorite in the Grade 3 Hanshin Handicap on Polytrack on May 21.

Society’s Chairman is coming off a third in the Grade 1 Maker’s Mark Mile at Keeneland. His best placing in three starts in the King Edward was a fourth in 2009.

Court of the Realm has won three straight allowances on Polytrack leading up to this his stakes debut.