06/10/2011 12:26PM

Woodbine's Victoria Park led by U.S. shipper Twinspired


ETOBICOKE, Ontario − Four American shippers, headed by Twinspired, are among the nine 3-year-olds in Sunday’s $150,000 Victoria Park Stakes at Woodbine.

A nine-furlong race, the Victoria Park is not restricted to Canadian-breds, but it is the last opportunity to prep for the June 26 Queen’s Plate in a local stakes. The Plate possibilities in the field are Pender Harbour, Seawatch, and Top Prospect.

Twinspired should be favored. He lost the Grade 1 Blue Grass on Keeneland’s Polytrack in April by a whisker before finishing 17th in the May 7 Kentucky Derby.

Trainer Mike Maker said he opted for the Victoria Park because there aren’t many other Polytrack stakes for Twinspired. Robby Albarado has the mount Sunday.

Burj Alzain ships in off a nose loss in a one-mile allowance at Arlington. He placed in each of his four previous outings, all over synthetics in Europe.

Trainer Gerard Butler said Burj Alzain may have been best in his Arlington race.

“He ran very nicely and probably should have won,” Butler said. “He came five wide into the straight, but he came home very good and was only beaten a nostril. Junior Alvarado rated him at the back, and I think if he had ridden him before, he would have had a lot more confidence in his acceleration.”

Newsdad, a New York invader trained by Bill Mott, was a troubled fourth in the Blue Grass and is coming off an eighth-place finish in the Grade 2 Peter Pan on the dirt at Belmont.

Code of Conduct came wide from off a tepid pace to win his debut on yielding turf May 5 at Belmont for trainer Chad Brown.

Pender Harbour was a smashing winner of the restricted Kingarive Stakes here in November, but trainer Mike DePaulo said Pender Harbour had a setback shortly thereafter.

“He had a little issue with a knee,” DePaulo said. “He wasn’t winter-trained and is a little bit behind.”

Pender Harbour finished 10th in his comeback race May 13 after getting a poor break and being checked, but DePaulo said he has been training well, including a one-mile breeze in 1:40 last Sunday. He had a crappy (comeback) race. He didn’t break that good, got checked, and the race was over. He’s been training super. He breezed a mile in 1:40 under Luis Contreras the other day. He went slow early, and came home smoking.”

Seawatch rallied from left field to win his maiden by four lengths going long in his season opener May 15.

Top Prospect was a fading third behind the imposing Check Your Soul in the May 1 Wando Stakes.