06/30/2010 12:00AM

Woodbourne eyes three in row


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Woodbourne has found a home in the middle claiming ranks on the turf at Woodbine, and he will seek his third consecutive win in Friday's seventh race, a $50,000 event scheduled for a mile.

Woodbourne, a well-bred Danzig gelding trained by Mark Casse, had a productive but abbreviated 2009 campaign, during which he won 3 of 6 starts. His two local triumphs came in $50,000 and $40,000 claiming company, and he went to the sidelines after trailing in the Grade 2 Sky Classic Stakes in August.

Woodbourne notched a $50,000 claimer over seven furlongs when he returned from a nine-month break May 22, earning a career-high Beyer Speed Figure of 89 in the process. He also got the job done most recently, after helping to set a sleepy pace in a nine-furlong route for $40,000 stock.

Corey Fraser retains the mount on Woodbourne, who is coupled in the Melnyk Racing Stable entry with Porter's Gate.

Porter's Gate captured back-to-back optional-claiming sprints on the grass at Fair Grounds during the winter. He wound up fourth in both of his local outings in the spring, including in the allowance prep for the Highlander Stakes.

Patrick Husbands will ride Porter's Gate for trainer Malcolm Pierce.

The classy geldings Just Rushing and Awesome Action are also in the nine-horse field.

Just Rushing, a 9-year-old millionaire, won the Grade 2 Play the King Stakes in 2008, just before ending up third in the Grade 1 Woodbine Mile.

Just Rushing ran hot and cold last year, the highlight of which was a gutsy victory in the restricted Ontario Jockey Club Stakes. He was a well-beaten ninth behind Woodbourne in his only appearance this year for trainer Sid Attard, who claimed him for $40,000 in 2005.

Awesome Action, a 10-year-old trained by Sue Leslie, took the Labeeb and OJC Stakes during his lucrative 7-year-old season. Last year, he won an optional claimer and a $40,000 contest in six starts. He has been beaten in double digits in both of his outings at this stand.

Golden Glade romped in a $40,000 conditioned claimer over seven furlongs in his season debut, but was a flat fourth in a subsequent allowance. He doesn't appear to be out of league with these.

Good General is experimenting on the grass after beginning the meet with a bang. There is very little turf in his pedigree.