Burst of Fire on Queen's Plate Quest

(from Woodbine report)
Queen's Plate hopeful Burst of Fire will contest the $162,600 Marine Stakes (Can-III) Saturday at Woodbine, the same 1 1/16-mile race Wando used as a springboard in capturing the Plate and the Triple Crown.

Burst of Fire, a two-time winner from three starts for trainer Mark Frostad and owner Sam-Son Farm, made his Woodbine debut a winning one on May 8, a two-length triumph at the same 1 1/16-mile distance. The Ontario-bred had a rousing start to his career, a 3 ¾-length victory on March 14 at Fair Grounds, followed by a third-place finish at Keeneland one month later.

"He's quirky, but he's a nice little horse," said Frostad, who won the 1996 Plate with Victor Cooley and the 2000 and 2001 editions with Scatter The Gold and Dancethruthedawn, respectively. "We'll just have to see if he keeps on improving."

The $1 million Queen's Plate at Woodbine is June 27.

In spite of Burst of Fire's most recent win, Frostad, who recently captured his 100th career stakes victory, is hoping the Marine will offer a clearer indication of his Plate hopeful's short- and long-term prospects.

"His last race, the time was no help, but he did win it," said Frostad, of the 1 1/16-mile victory over a sloppy main track, timed in 1:46 1/5. "I'd like to get a fast track. Distance is not a problem with him. He could go forever. It's just a matter of how fast he'll go. That's the main concern."

The key to a quicker pace. "The races we've put him in, there's been virtually no pace, except the last one. You have to keep at this guy to keep him going. But he's had three two-turn races which counts for a lot at this time of the year."

Todd Kabel retains the mount on Burst of Fire, who drew post two in the race.

Also in the Marine are several stretch runners, including Canada's champion Sovereign Award 2-year-old colt of 2003, Judiths Wild Rush and Grey Breeders' Cup Stakes (Can-II) winner Smoocher.

$162,600 Marine Stakes (Can-III), 3-year-olds, 1 1/16 mile
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Honolua Storm (KY), 115, Jono C. Jones
2. Burst of Fire (ON), 115, Todd Kabel
3. Judiths Wild Rush (KY), 119, Dino Luciani
4. Organ Grinder (KY), 115, Simon P. Husbands
5. Nyuk Nyuk Nyuk (ON), 117, David Clark
6. Smoocher (FL), 119, James McAleney