06/01/2012 12:48PM

Woodbine: Plate Trial a softer spot for Classic Bryce

Michael Burns
Beeker Street will be trying two turns in Sunday's Plate Trial.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario – It’s crunch time for Queen’s Plate nominees in Sunday’s $150,000 Plate Trial Stakes at Woodbine, and Classic Bryce drops in class in the nine-furlong route for Canadian-bred 3-year-olds.

Classic Bryce met open stakes company traveling 1 1/16 miles in both of his outings at the meet. Following a winter vacation, he rallied for second in the April 21 Wando, in which victorious Incredicat had everything his own way on the lead.

Three weeks later in the Marine, Classic Bryce came wide from midpack to finish a distant second to upstart Strait of Dover.

Trainer Darwin Banach said Classic Bryce had legitimate excuses in his only poor two-turn race, in the nine-furlong Coronation Futurity.

“We ran him back a little soon, which is pretty tough to do with a 2-year-old,” Banach recalled. “I thought he made a move way too soon and just ran out of horse.”

Beeker Street and Making Amends ran one-two May 5 in the seven-furlong Queenston Stakes for Ontario-breds.

Beeker Street came from a wide post to set a slow pace over an inside-biased track in the Queenston, before holding on to prevail by a neck. The 79 Beyer Speed Figure he earned didn’t match up to the 85 that he got for winning his seven-furlong debut here in April.

Jockey Patrick Husbands offered few clues regarding how Beeker Street will handle two turns.

“It’s hard to say how he’s going to run,” Husbands said. “I’ll just play it by ear. Everybody thinks he’s a sprinter, but sprinters run their best going long the first time.”

Making Amends closed strongly on the outside against the elements in the Queenston, in what was his best effort since his debut at 2, when he took the restricted Clarendon Stakes.

A son of Repent, Making Amends should find his calling around two turns. Trainer Mark Casse said the colt may finally be coming around following his improved effort in the Queenston.

“I kept talking about him, and he kept making me look foolish, but he finally showed up,” Casse said. “It looked like he galloped out quite well. I don’t see [the distance] being a problem.”

Big Creek is based at Saratoga with trainer Todd Pletcher, who is adding blinkers. He was a deceptively good third in the Wando under Emma Wilson, in his first start on Polytrack.

“I thought he ran a very creditable race,” Wilson said. “He got a little intimidated. A horse on the outside of him around the turn had him thinking a little too much. Once he got a nice clear run, he finished up really well.”

Menlo Castle checked in fourth in the Queenston, after ending third in the Woodstock Stakes. He was second to eventual Canadian champion 2-year-old Maritimer twice going long at 2, in the Coronation and Display Stakes.

Incredicat came up empty in the Marine, and his connections are still trying to determine whether or not he’s a true router.

“I think he deserves another shot,” trainer Ian Black said. “We’d hate to say somewhere down the road that we jumped ship too quickly with him.”

Dead On faded to seventh in the Queenston, but was a close second the time before in an allowance route on the dirt at Fair Grounds.