07/13/2011 1:05PM

Woodbine: Nanaimo seeking third straight win


ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Nanaimo will seek his third consecutive win in Ontario-sired company Friday at Woodbine in the sixth race, and may be difficult to deny if he stays in the zone.

Nanaimo didn’t show much last year at 2, but the son of Philanthropist is bred to be a late bloomer, and has come around nicely this year.

After ending up third in his season opener, Nanaimo rallied for a maiden victory traveling a mile and a sixteenth May 28. Trainer Barb Minshall wisely passed on the Queen’s Plate in favor of a nonwinners-of-two allowance route June  24, which Nanaimo won from off the pace after awaiting room at the quarter pole. He registered his second straight 66 Beyer Figure in that race.

On Friday, Nanaimo meets nonwinners-of-three allowance company over a mile and a sixteenth, with Patrick Husbands back aboard.

Sky of Grey cleared the nonwinners-of-two allowance condition in his third race off the bench May 11, receiving a 65 Beyer. He earned a 72 Beyer for running second behind stakes winner Celtic Conviction when he experimented on the grass June 3.

Most recently on Polytrack, Sky of Grey finished a flat third as the favorite under Emma Wilson, who retains the mount on the Analisa Delmas-trained 4-year-old.

Pirate’s Legend, returning from a seven-month layoff, is the most intriguing entrant. He competed without Lasix and shoes last fall, winning an allowance before placing in both of his races at this level. His only double-digit loss in eight starts for trainer Marc Blouin came in the Steady Growth Stakes.

Not too Tacky just missed in his May 20 excursion, after pressing a moderate pace. He failed to duplicate that performance in two subsequent outings, but managed to finish third behind Celtic Conviction and Sky of Grey on the grass June 3.

Marcellino chased several of his current rivals home in three appearances at the meet. He peaked late last fall, when he ran big in three straight nonwinners-of-two allowance races. Eurico Da Silva replaces the suspended Luis Contreras on the son of Mobil.

Joey’s Best wound up on the edges in both of his starts in June, and could be coming around after working five-eighths in 1:00 on July 8.

Completing the field is Flip for the Coin, who had been idle for a year when he was beaten five lengths in a $20,000 conditioned claimer June 29.