08/30/2013 12:57PM

Woodbine: Langstaff heads trio for Tiller in Vice Regent

Michael Burns
Langstaff, winner of the six-furlong Bold Ruckus Stakes, will stretch out to a mile for the Vice Regent.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Trainer Bob Tiller will be holding a strong hand in the $125,000 Vice Regent Stakes at Woodbine on Sunday, when he runs Langstaff, Jade Dragon, and Power Phil in the one-mile turf route for 3-year-olds.

Langstaff should be favored off his 3-for-5 record, which includes a fast-closing grass score in the six-furlong Bold Ruckus, another Ontario-sired stakes.

Langstaff’s first loss came against the speedy Black Hornet in the six-furlong Achievement Stakes on June 29. He has been idle since another runner-up placing July 24 in the seven-furlong Deputy Minister Stakes, won by Jade Dragon.

The Vice Regent will be Langstaff’s first race beyond seven furlongs, but the son of Saffir is bred to run on.

“I think it’s a matter of him getting a mile,” Tiller said. “He’s in good order. He should run very well. If he gets the mile, he’ll be very tough.”

The steady Jade Dragon is making his 11th start, but it’s his first on turf. He has some pedigree on the dam’s side indicating he might run well on grass.

Jade Dragon was in solid Ontario-sired allowance form prior to the Deputy Minister, which he won by a length after pressing a sleepy pace.

“He’s very good right now,” Tiller said. “I’m a little worried about how he’ll handle the grass. Hopefully, it will stop raining.”

Power Phil set the pace before fading to fifth July 30 in the $500,000 Prince of Wales Stakes, the second leg of the Canadian Triple Crown at Fort Erie. He experimented on turf two weeks ago in a one-mile allowance, in which he finished third after setting a lively pace.

“He’s a funny horse,” Tiller said. “He tries all the time. He had some bad luck in some of his races. He’s doing very well. I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if he ran well going a flat mile.”

Dance for Cole crushed maidens by five lengths in front-running fashion July 17. He stepped up into allowance company in another 1 1/16-mile turf route most recently, when he wound up eighth as the favorite after encountering some traffic.

“He didn’t run his best, and it was bad racing luck,” said trainer Katerina Vassilieva, regarding Dance for Cole’s last outing. “I think this is the perfect race for him. He loves the turf, and he’s got speed.”

Fighting Chris is changing surfaces off a gutsy win in a seven-furlong allowance. He is a half-brother to Why Katherine, who finished second in two turf stakes at the meet for trainer Kevin Attard.