05/30/2013 2:05PM

Woodbine Oaks prospect Pink Trillium adapts well to Polytrack

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Michael Burns
City Wolf, shown winning the 2011 Durham Cup, will seek to snap a seven-race losing streak in Sunday's Vigil Stakes.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario — Sean Smullen does most of his training at Frank Stronach’s nearby Adena Springs Farm, where he oversees a constant stream of horses coming in from the racetrack and then shipping back to their various trainers here at Woodbine.

But Smullen also maintains an ontrack operation, which is overseen on a daily basis by his assistant Patrick Dixon, and while his charges often are not at the top of the stable’s hierarchy, he also has been known to have a runner in his stable.

One such case in point is Pink Trillium, an Adena Springs homebred who has designs on the $500,000 Woodbine Oaks, a 1 1/8-mile race for Canadian-bred 3-year-old fillies on June 9.

Pink Trillium debuted at Gulfstream Park on March 10, closing to win a seven-furlong turf race by three-quarters of a length for her original trainer, Chad Brown.

In her only subsequent start, which came in the Tweedside Stakes over one mile of turf at Belmont on April 27, Pink Trillium again stalked the pace and lacked clear sailing en route to a fourth-place finish.

“She won nice in Gulfstream, and she ran well in that stake on the grass in Belmont,” Smullen said from the farm the other morning. “She ran a bit green and came out of it great.”

At that point, the Woodbine Oaks was on Pink Trillium’s calendar.

“We just wanted to bring her up here early, to get her used to the Polytrack and work her over it,” Smullen said.

The results to date have been encouraging, as Pink Trillium has breezed here three times with her latest a five-furlong move in 1:01 here Monday. Luis Contreras has been in the irons for each workout and has the call for the Woodbine Oaks.

“The other morning she worked very well, galloped out very strong, and Luis Contreras was very happy with her,” Smullen said.

In addition to the new surface, Pink Trillium will be trying her longest trip to date in the Woodbine Oaks.

“In her training, she wants to be a little bit rank early,” Smullen said. “So, hopefully, she settles. The way she galloped out the other day, if she settles in her race, I’d say that the trip will be no problem.”

City Wolf looks to snap slump in Vigil

Smullen also will be represented in Sunday’s Grade 3, $150,000 Vigil Stakes as City Wolf is among just four entrants for that seven-furlong stakes for 4-year-olds and up.

City Wolf, bred in Kentucky at the Adena Springs Farm there, began his career with trainer Todd Pletcher and was conditioned for the last two years by Reade Baker, becoming a stakes winner here in the Grade 3 Durham Cup at 1 1/8 miles on Oct. 2, 2011.

But after going winless in six races last year and wintering at Adena Springs North, City Wolf has resurfaced with Smullen as his trainer of record.

“The plan was to run him once off the farm, to see how he would handle that,” Smullen said. “He’s been shipping back and forth, working at Woodbine. He’s coming along good.

“He might have been a bit of a victim of slow paces in the past. The seven-eighths is probably not his ideal trip, but he probably will get something to run at. He likes to make that one run.”

Emma-Jayne Wilson, who rode City Wolf to four consecutive victories capped by the Durham Cup, will be back in the irons as the 6-year-old horse attempts to end a seven-race losing streak.

Consolidator Joe may run out of town

Consolidator Joe, who set a 6 1/2-furlong track record of 1:14.50 when entered for the optional $60,000 claiming price in a second-level allowance here last time out, was nominated to the Vigil but will not be participating.

“He’s a nice horse, but I don’t want to run against Essence Hit Man,” trainer Ross Armata said, referring to the two-time defending Canadian sprint champion who will be odds-on in the Vigil. “He’s not quite ready for him yet.

“I have a few other options for him, if he continues to do well. It’s taken me a bit of time to find something this good, and I don’t want to screw it up. I’ve been down this road before.”

One option for Consolidator Joe is the $100,000 Karl Boyes Memorial. Armata has nominated the 5-year-old gelding to that 5 1/2-furlong dash at Presque Isle Downs on June 10.

Are You Kidding Me tries Penn Mile

Are You Kidding Me, trained by Roger Attfield, shipped out Monday with assistant trainer Suzanne Lorimer for his date in Saturday’s $500,000 Penn Mile at Penn National.

The new one-mile race for 3-year-olds attracted a field of eight, and Luis Saez will ride Are You Kidding Me.

“We looked at a race at Arlington last week, which was graded, but we needed another week with him anyway,” Attfield said with reference to last Saturday’s Grade 3, $150,000 Arlington Classic for 3-year-olds over one mile of turf. “The mile’s probably a good race for him.”

Leinan preps for Alywow

Leinan, trained by Josie Carroll, breezed five furlongs in 1:01.20 on the main track here Thursday morning and is scheduled to make her next start in the June 9 Alywow Stakes.

The $125,000 Alywow, a 6 1/2-furlong turf race for 3-year-old fillies, is a supporting stakes feature on a card that also includes the $500,000 Woodbine Oaks and the $150,000 Plate Trial.

Leinan, owned by Jim and Alice Sapara, won the seven-furlong Glorious Song on the main track here last fall and most recently journeyed to Presque Isle to take the six-furlong Inaugural on that synthetic surface.

No Queen’s Plate for Drenched

Carroll also reports that Drenched, who finished last of five here in last Sunday’s 1 1/16-mile Marine Stakes, is off the Queen’s Plate trail.

“He was pressed on the lead,and didn’t like that as well,” Carroll said. “We may look at the Charlie Barley with him.”

The $125,000 Charlie Barley, an open one-mile turf race for 3-year-olds, will be run July 6.

Drenched, who races for the Donver Stable of Vern and Donna Dubinsky, had been seeking his third straight win in the Marine after graduating over one mile of turf at Gulfstream Park and clearing his first allowance condition here over seven furlongs of Polytrack.