06/09/2011 11:21AM

Woodbine: Quarterback looks best of this bunch


ETOBICOKE, Ontario – There isn’t much separating the upper echelon of Ontario-sired 3-year-olds at Woodbine, and Quarterback seems to have as good a chance as any in Saturday’s $125,000 Bold Ruckus Stakes, a six-furlong turf event for such runners.

Trainer Kevin Attard pointed out that Quarterback checked in fourth amongst a logjam finish in the Frost King Stakes in November. The first and 10th horses were separated by a mere 3 1/4 lengths in that seven-furlong sprint.

“There’s a bunch of Ontario-sired horses that seem evenly matched,” Attard said. “It comes down to who has a good trip, and who brings their game on that day.”

Quarterback has run two solid races this year. He was second to Urban Forester in a six-furlong dash May 6, and then won an Ontario-sired allowance traveling seven furlongs with a 70 Beyer May 22. Like everybody in the seven-horse Bold Ruckus field, he’s competing on the grass for the first time.

“He’s never been on it,” Attard said. “He’s by Bold Executive. Generally, they run on anything.”

Trainer Ralph Biamonte entered Citius, Altius, and Fortius, which are the Latin words that make up the Olympic motto. Citius means faster, Altius means higher, and Fortius means stronger. All three are sons of turf stakes winner Old Forester, last year’s leading freshman sire in Canada.

The late-running Citius won the Frost King by a head over Altius, who battled on the lead throughout.

Biamonte was pleased with the way that Citius and Altius breezed together over the turf training course June 3, when they went a half-mile in 48.40 seconds.

“They seemed to handle it pretty good,” Biamonte recalled. “They stayed right together, and galloped out good. I thought Altius had a better stride on the grass than he does on the Poly. I’m hoping the Old Forester bloodlines will come out.”

Fortius’s recent debut wasn’t pretty, when he trailed a 12-horse field after running greenly.

“I thought he would run good, but he was a nervous wreck,” said Biamonte. “He flipped in the tunnel going to the track, and he broke bad. His mother was all grass, and he has a lovely grass foot.”

Forestador, another Old Forester gelding, is trained by Brandon Greer. He notched his first two starts before ending up fourth in Altius’ impressive allowance victory on May 13.

Rounding out the field are Quintana and the Old Forester filly Sinister Quill