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Friday, May 05, 2006

Edenwold starts Plate journey

The best 3-year-old thoroughbreds in the world will be showcased Saturday in the Kentucky Derby but a few hours earlier at Woodbine, some of Canada’s best embark on the journey to the Queen’s Plate.
The 51st edition of the Queenston Stakes, a seven-furlong, $150,000 dash, features the return of last year’s champion 2-year-old male Edenwold to racing action.
Owned by Jim and Alice Sapara’s Winsong Farms, Edenwold is seeking to become only the second male juvenile champ in Canadian history to come back and win the next year’s Plate. Sound Reason, in 1977, is the only other colt to accomplish the double.
Edenwold, trained by Josie Carroll, had a busy campaign in 2005 with four wins in eight starts including three consecutive stakes races.
The Ontario-bred colt underwent minor front leg surgery over the winter and then began training again in California in January.
“He’s grown even more into the promise he had last year,” said Carroll. “He’s a big strong horse and filled out into his frame. He has appeared, at this point, to have made the necessary transition from a baby to a 3-year-old.”
Edenwold, a long striding dark chestnut, had a sizzling workout at Woodbine on Tuesday morning, four furlongs in :46 1/5.
“I actually got a little more than I asked for,” said Carroll. “I thought he would go in 48 seconds but I felt I needed to sharpen him up.”
“There were a couple of horses in front of him and when the dirt started to hit him in the face, he got very aggressive. He’s not as laid back this year as he was last year, I think he has figured out he’s a colt.”
Two new additions to Edenwold’s racing profile are jockey Emile Ramsammy and the anti-bleeding medication Lasix.
“The exercise is to get Edenwold back on track and I want to see him finish strongly,” said Carroll, who will also saddle the speedy Plate hopeful Vibank in the Queenston.
Edenwold’s main competition from six rivals includes the undefeated Bad Hat, a wiry son of Bold Executive who is also making his first start of the season.
Bad Hat is trained by Mike DePaulo, whose other Plate hopeful, Shillelagh Slew, won his season debut in easy fashion last weekend.
Post time for the Queenston, the sixth race on the Woodbine card, is 3:40 p.m.


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