09/17/2007 1:00AM

Barclay & Kiaran's Excellent Weekend


Trainers Barclay Tagg and Kiaran McLaughlin both enjoyed extraordinary stakes runs the last two days. McLaughlin won both of the weekend's Grade 1's in North America, the Gazelle at Belmont Saturday with Lear's Princess and the Woodbine Mile Sunday with Shakespeare. Tagg won three stakes at Belmont: Saturday's G3 Noble Damsel with Dance Away Capote and G2 Futurity with Tale of Ekati, and then Belmont's Sunday feature, the Ashley T. Cole for statebred turfers, with Dave.

Shakespeare, making just his second start after 21 months on the sidelines, ran his career record to 7-for-8 with an impressive late surge to beat a strong field of milers at Woodbine. He scored by a length over Kip Deville, winner of the G1 Kilroe and G2 Maker's Mark earlier this year, and those behind them (in a race where it was just five lengths from 1st to 10th in a field of 14) included major winners Remarkable News, Host, Becrux, Sky Conqueror, Art Master and Arrivale. Shakespeare, who may be the top American hope for the Breeders' Cup Mile, ran the mile in 1:33.82, earning a Beyer Speed Figure of 107.

Earlier in the day at Woodbine, Shakespeare's former trainer, Bill Mott, scored in the Summer Stakes for 2-year-olds with Prussian, a seven-length winner of his Saratoga debut on grass. That made Prussian the 1-2 favorite in the Summer, where the colt from Danzig's last crop dueled early and then pulled away to win by 1 1/4 in 1:35.26 (Beyer: 89). Next stop: the new Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf.

Dave's victory in the Cole came by a whisker over the 3-year-olds Al Basha and Spurred, who were both making their stakes debuts and will now be the next generation of regular competitors in this division. The same six or eight statebred turfers turn out for the Kingston, the West Point, the Cole and the Mohawk each year, and Al Basha and Spurred will now join them in pursuit of those races. Dave has now taken three of the prizes, having won the '05 Kingston and the '06 West Point.