10/10/2011 11:36AM

Woodbine: Where's Johnson liable to improve off runner-up effort in stakes


ETOBICOKE, Ontario — Among the stakes performers in Wednesday night’s opener at Woodbine, Where’s Johnson perhaps has the best chance in the six-furlong allowance for 2-year-olds.

Where’s Johnson, an $8,000 yearling purchase by C.E.C. Farm, lost his debut July 10 by a head to the talented Maritimer. Two weeks later, Where’s Johnson graduated by a neck over stablemate Menlo Castle, earning a solid 77 Beyer Speed Figure in the 5 1/2-furlong maiden special.

Where’s Johnson and Menlo Castle met again Sept. 5 in the Simcoe Stakes, after Menlo Castle won his maiden by disqualification. Menlo Castle romped in that 6 1/2-furlong sprint for graduates of local yearling sales, while Where’s Johnson finished nearly eight lengths back in second.

Trainer Ralph Biamonte said he wasn’t surprised to see Menlo Castle handle Where’s Johnson in the Simcoe, because Menlo Castle had a recent race, whereas Where’s Johnson had missed some training due to a virus.

“I don’t think Menlo is necessarily a better horse, but he was [in the Simcoe],” said Biamonte.

Journeyman David Clark retains the mount on Where’s Johnson, who drew favorably on the outside in the six-horse field.

Buongiorno Johnny checked in second behind the promising Indian Evening when he debuted in the faster split of a July 10 maiden special. He subsequently graduated over stablemate Maritimer in the six-furlong Vandal Stakes, receiving a 72 Beyer.

Most recently, Buongiorno Johnny set the pace before fading to finish a distant fourth in the seven-furlong Swynford Stakes, which was won convincingly by Indian Evening.

Patrick Husbands will ride Buongiorno Johnny for trainer Sid Attard.

Town Prize, like the other two prime contenders, has done his optimum running on the lead.

Town Prize got a 76 Beyer while winning his debut over five furlongs June 26. He has been idle since ending up third behind Banner Bill and The Bear Vow in the six-furlong Colin Stakes on July 16.

Eurico Da Silva will get a leg up from trainer Darwin Banach on Town Prize, who is arguably the best foal from Grade 2 stakes winner Prized Stamp.

Biamonte also entered Run in Aruba, who finished far back in the Simcoe after graduating in a maiden special for Ontario-sired stock.

Ocala Son was a well-beaten third in the Swynford, after toppling $40,000 maidens in his first start.

Completing the field is Truetap, who was a rallying second in a recent six-furlong allowance won by Solo Player.