07/30/2003 11:00PM

Ankle chip knocks out Nashinda


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Nashinda, the promising 2-year-old filly who has been an impressive winner of her two starts here, shipped out for Lexington, Ky., on Thursday morning and will undergo season-ending ankle surgery at the Rood and Riddle veterinary clinic.

Owned by the Augustin Stable of George Strawbridge Jr. and trained by Mac Benson, Nashinda had won her debut at 4 1/2 furlongs on May 17 and the My Dear Stakes at five furlongs five weeks later. She then developed a shin problem and was to be freshened for a fall campaign.

"It looked like she popped a shin splint," said Benson. "We took pictures, cooled it out, and fired it.

"She got over that, and I was just getting ready to put the tack back on her when her other leg filled up a little bit," he said. "It was a chip; she must have done that in her last race. That's the biggest part of my year gone, right there."

Nashinda, by Silver Deputy out of Adorned, is a full sister to 1998 Queen's Plate winner Archers Bay. Her early exit also means she will be ineligible for Sovereign Award consideration, which requires three seasonal starts in Canada before a mid-November cutoff point.

"If everything goes well, we'll put her back in training about the first of December in Florida and maybe get a race or two into her there this winter," said Benson. "Then, she'll be that much ahead when she comes back up here."

Quiet Dare also out for year

Nashinda will be rejoining stablemate Quiet Dare at the Rood and Riddle clinic, as that 3-year-old gelding had been sent down for a throat operation.

Quiet Dare had begun his campaign with a second-place finish here in the seven-furlong Queenston and was considered a leading Queen's Plate candidate.

He failed to run back to his Queenston performance, however, as his form was compromised by a breathing problem.

"I don't see him coming back this year," said Benson.

Marisa Go in Royal North again

Marisa Go was in the best form of her career at about this time last year, winning the Zadracarta and finishing third in the Royal North over six furlongs of turf.

And although Marisa Go has yet to show her colors this year, her owner and trainer, Carlo Fuoco, believes that the mare is ready to roll now. Weather permitting, Marisa Go will make her presence felt when she makes an encore appearance in the Royal North here Saturday.

"I hope it doesn't rain," said Fuoco. "She has to have a very hard surface, whether it's dirt or grass. Then, she'll really fire strong. If there's a little give, she'll just run along."

Fuoco, 52, was earning a living servicing furnaces and air conditioners and also was a dedicated horseplayer when he began moonlighting here on weekends with trainer Laurie Silvera in 1990.

He went on to work as an apprentice with trainers Peter Silvera, John Cirillo, Katie O'Connor, and John Ross and had horses here with Fred Loschke and Ray O'Connor before taking out his trainer's license.

The first horse Fuoco ran under his own name was Raquela, who finished second under a $25,000 tag in her debut here on June 12, 1998. She was claimed for that price two starts later.

Raquela had been purchased by Laurie Silvera, who found a replacement horse for Fuoco that fall - he acquired Marisa Go for $21,000 at the local select yearling sale.

Unraced at 2 because of an injury, Marisa Go debuted with a $50,000 claiming price here on Sept. 28, 2000, and was a game winner.

That was the last time Marisa Go ran for a tag, and she comes into the Royal North as a stakes winner of $261,642.

"She's been very good to me," said Fuoco, whose only other horse at the moment is the unraced 2-year-old filly Gold Khalifa.

Marisa Go finished fourth in two main-track stakes here last fall and ran well enough in her 2003 debut, ending up fifth but just 4 1/2 lengths back in the six-furlong Whimsical, before catching a sloppy track in her next outing.

And although she has displayed subpar form in her last two appearances, finishing sixth of seven in the Zadracarta and last of seven in the Royal North prep, Fuoco believes she had a valid excuse.

"Her last two races, she was coughing," said Fuoco. "I ran her, because it was a dry cough, but it affected her.

"She has no cough now; she's in good order. If she gets a dry track, she'll be back to herself."

'Prince' wins by daylight

Kissed by a Prince crushed her four opponents here Wednesday night in the $126,625 Eternal Search Stakes, winning by 14 3/4 lengths under Dino Luciani.

Sprinter Regal 'n Bold led the way in the 1 1/16-mile race for Ontario-sired 3-year-old fillies, and she set fractions of 23.44 and 47.78 seconds. Kissed by a Prince tracked Regal 'n Bold and assumed control after three-quarters in 1:13.10.

Kissed by a Prince established a clear lead at the quarter pole and widened her advantage through the stretch to complete the distance in 1:45.64.

Santerra, the 3-5 favorite, closed belatedly for second, while Regal 'n Bold faded to finish another four lengths back in third. Fancy Drinks and Divine Hope completed the order of finish.

Kissed by a Prince "ran a great race," said Mike DePaulo, her trainer. "She's got heart, and she's a sound filly. Hopefully, she'll go onward and upward from here."

It was the first stakes victory for Kissed by a Prince, who earned $75,975 for owner Heather Landymore. The filly returned $9.60 as the third betting choice, and she has won 3 of 6 career starts.

- additional reporting by Ron Gierkink