11/15/2004 1:00AM

All eyes on Kabel in stretch


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Heading into Wednesday night's program at Woodbine, there are just 20 days of racing scheduled to be run at the meeting, which winds up Dec. 12.

In addition to the regular fare, there will be plenty of interest on the jockey and trainer fronts in the waning weeks.

Todd Kabel, who rode five winners on Sunday to bring his total for the meeting to 148, holds a seemingly insurmountable lead of 29 over second-place Patrick Husbands.

Kabel is named on just two horses Wednesday, while Husbands does not have a call.

Meanwhile, Kabel will be closely monitored as he continues his pursuit of the seasonal record for stakes winners in Ontario.

Avelino Gomez set the bar with 36 stakes winners in 1966. Kabel has 34 with 11 stakes left on the calendar, including the non-guaranteed Sunny's Halo on Nov. 27, but has no obvious standouts for the next few events.

The trainer race will be hotly contested through the closing weeks with Bob Tiller atop the standings with 59 winners, just two more than Sid Attard.

Neither Tiller nor Attard has a starter on Wednesday evening's card, which is long on numbers but short on quality.

A total of 87 horses, including two also-eligibles, have been entered for the eight races and no field is shorter than eight.

The biggest purse of the night is up for grabs in the $57,000 sixth race, where a full field of Ontario-sired maiden 2-year-olds is slated to compete at six furlongs.

Logical contenders include Marco Be Good and Molinaro Beau, who finished two-three behind the promising Dave the Knave when debuting under similar circumstances here Oct. 30.

Handlebar Hank, who has picked up minor awards in three stakes appearances, will be making his ninth start here and putting the blinkers back on.

The seventh race is a seven-furlong $40,000 claimer for nonwinners of three lifetime.

Pants N Kisses, winner of the 1 1/8-mile Victoria Park Stakes here in June 2003, was claimed for $20,000 from his last start Oct. 17 and debuts for trainer Jody Hammett.

Despite the elevated price, Pants N Kisses fits well here as he returns to conditioned claiming company after finishing second against open opposition last time out.

Grand End Sweep, the winner of that Oct. 17 race, doubled up for $25,000.

The cutback to seven furlongs is a question mark for Pants N Kisses, who has done his best running around two turns, but the price should be right.