06/08/2011 11:51AM

Woodbine: Sinister Quill to take on boys in Bold Ruckus


ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Ontario-sired 3-year-olds will be in the spotlight here Saturday in the $125,000 Bold Ruckus.

And adding intrigue is the presence of Sinister Quill, who will be looking to become the first filly to win the six-furlong turf stakes.

Sinister Quill, who is by Old Forester and out of Sinhouse, suffered her first defeat when making her fourth career start in the Lady Angela, a seven-furlong race for Ontario-sired 3-year-old fillies here May 23.

“There are no other spots for her,” said trainer Daniel Vella, who also owns a share in Sinister Quill as part of a group that also includes Brian Troop, winner of the 2010 Daily Racing Form /NTRA National Handicapping Championship.

“You either have to hook open company or colts, one of the two.”

Sinister Quill had been nominated to last Sunday’s Alywow, an open 6 1/2-furlong turf stakes, but Vella has elected to meet the boys in the Ontario-sired ranks.

While Sinister Quill has never raced on turf, the same is true of her five rivals in the Bold Ruckus. Vella believes his filly has the pedigree to handle the switch in surfaces.

“Her mother loved the grass,” Vella said.

Vella will be represented in Sunday’s Victoria Park with Alpha Bettor, a Kentucky-bred who is coming off a first-level allowance score at 1 1/16 miles. The Victoria Park is a 1 1/8-mile open stakes for 3-year-olds.

Alpha Bettor was making his second start of the season in the May 8 allowance race, after finishing second behind Bear’s Chill when traveling seven furlongs in the same classification.

Bear’s Chill came back to romp in the seven-furlong Queenston, before disappointing in last Sunday’s Plate Trial.

“I think when they win their one-other-than as a 3-year-old, there aren’t a lot of options,” Vella said. “I entered him in a two-other-than last week, but the race didn’t fill.”

“This is obviously a step up, but he’s training awesome. We’re excited about him. He’s a nice horse, and I don’t think a mile and an eighth will be a problem.

Seawatch, Pender Harbour to supplement

The Victoria Park is the last local stakes stop on the road to the Queen’s Plate, and a pair of Canadian-breds are expected to be supplemented when entries are taken Thursday.

Seawatch burst into the Queen’s Plate picture with a eye-catching maiden win in his seasonal bow at 1 1/16 miles here May 15 under jockey Tyler Pizarro.

The gelding, however, was ineligible to run in the last Sunday’s Plate Trial since he had not been nominated to the Queen’s Plate and, after exploring other options that did not materialize, trainer Josie Carroll plans to go the Victoria Park route.

If all goes well, Seawatch could be supplemented to the June 26 Queen’s Plate at a cost of $25,000.

Carroll and Seawatch’s owners, Donna and Vern Dubinsky, won last Sunday’s 1 1/8-mile Woodbine Oaks with Inglorious, who also is a candidate for the 1 1/4-mile Queen’s Plate.

Trainer Mike DePaulo also plans to supplement Pender Harbour to the Victoria Park, and a noteworthy performance could encourage his connections to ante up the late fee for the $1 million Queen’s Plate.

Pender Harbour won the 1 1/16-mile Kingarvie here last fall but underwent surgery at the end of the season and did not get back to the races until May 13.

Competing in a restricted second-level allowance race at six furlongs, Pender Harbour finished a troubled 10th under jockey Emile Ramsammy.

“He broke a step slow, and Emile kind of let him go to the rail,” DePaulo said. “Then they all come down on him, and he had to check him out of there. It was a disaster.”

Pender Harbour tuned up for the Victoria Park here last Sunday with a one-mile breeze in 1:40 under jockey Luis Contreras, who has the call for the Victoria Park.

Jojo’s Mojo eyes maiden win

Jojo’s Mojo, who was transferred to DePaulo this spring with the Queen’s Plate in mind, has been entered in a maiden race for 3-year-olds and up at 1 1/16 miles on the turf here Friday.

“We’re just trying to win a race,” DePaulo said. “If something wild and crazy happens, you never know.

“The only time he ran on the turf, at Gulfstream, was at 7 1/2 furlongs. That probably wasn’t long enough to suit him.”

One Big Gator tries again

One Big Gator could punch a ticket to the Queen’s Plate in a maiden race over 1 1/16 miles of Polytrack here Friday.

Owned by Bud and Jackie Reynolds and trained by John Ross, One Big Gator finished second behind the impressive Kurogane in a 1 1/16-mile maiden race here May 7 but then ended a disappointing fourth competing under the same terms May 28.

“He didn’t get the right kind of trip last time,” said Ross, noting that One Big Gator had seemed uncomfortable racing on the rail. “I think he deserves another shot at it.”

One Big Gator will race without blinkers and with Patrick Husbands in the irons for the first time on Friday.

Kurogane off Queen’s Plate trail

Kurogane had thrust himself into the Queen’s Plate picture but then disappointed in his next start, finishing fifth of sixth as the even-money favorite in a restricted first-level allowance race at 1 1/8 miles.

And now, following a conference between trainer Paul Attard, Chiefswood Farm owners Bob and Mark Krembil, and racing manager Robert Landry, Kurogane has been taken off the Queen’s Plate trail.

“He didn’t run good enough to go on to the Plate,” Attard said. “We don’t want to go in there and be 50-1.

“We’ll think about the Prince of Wales or think about an allowance race.”

The $500,000 Prince of Wales, run over 1 3/16 miles on Fort Erie’s dirt surface July 17, follows the Queen’s Plate as the second leg of the triple crown for Canadian-bred 3-year-olds.

Urban Forester suffers setback

Urban Forester, one of the more promising Ontario-sired 3-year-olds thus far at the meeting, was not nominated to the Bold Ruckkus and currently is on the shelf.

“I had to stop on him for a while,” said trainer Phil England, who had sent out Urban Forester for impressive victories in a restricted maiden race at five furlongs and a first-level allowance at six furlongs.

“It’s not a big deal; I hope to get him back before too long. He’s very promising.

◗ David C. Onley, the Lieutenant-Governor of Ontario, will be the guest of honor at this year’s Queen’s Plate. Onley will present the trophy to the winning owner.