09/13/2001 11:00PM

Another trip for Stage Classic


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Stage Classic probably will be taking his show back on the road, this time to the British Columbia Derby Sept. 29.

"I've considered the McLaughlin," said Dave Cotey, trainer and co-owner of Stage Classic, a 3-year-old gelding who would have carried 117 pounds here in Saturday's Colonel R.S. McLaughlin Handicap.

"But I want to find an easier spot for him, and he'll be running for $200,000 instead of $100,000."

The B.C. Derby offers Grade 2 status and a purse of $200,000, while the McLaughlin is a Grade 3 worth $107,200. Both races go at 1 1/8 miles.

The trek to Vancouver would be Stage Classic's third and longest trip of the season, as he won the Manitoba Derby at Winnipeg's Assiniboia Downs Aug. 6 and finished second in the Canadian Derby at Edmonton's Northlands Park Aug. 25.

Cotey seeks Grade 1 laurels for Lady Shari

In the meantime Cotey will be looking for a huge payday here with his 2-year-old filly, Lady Shari, in the Grade 1, $250,000 Mazarine Breeders' Cup Stakes on Sept. 22.

Lady Shari, who like Stage Classic races for Cotey's Dominion Bloodstock in partnership with Derek Ball and Hugh Galbraith, was purchased for $10,000 at Fasig-Tipton Kentucky's October sale.

The filly would be running back two weeks after winning her maiden here last Saturday over the Mazarine distance of 1 1/16 miles in her first try around two turns.

"I train my horses pretty easy," said Cotey, "so even though I'm bringing her back a little quicker than I'd like, she should be okay."

Lady Shari was taken back off the pace by regular rider Constant Montpellier, took charge entering the stretch and comfortably held off the stakes-placed Western Resolve for her first win.

"She should improve quite a bit off that race," said Cotey. "Not only through conditioning, but with the experience of going two turns."

Mysterieuse may return for E.P. Taylor

Louve Mysterieuse, who shipped to Belmont following her fourth-place finish here in last Sunday's Grade 2 Canadian for owner Gary Tanaka and trainer Neil Drysdale, is a possibility for the Grade 1 E.P. Taylor Stakes here Sept. 30.

"You might see her back again, when the ground's a bit more forgiving," said Drysdale. "She was sent to Canada specifically for the softer ground. The forecast was for rain, and we didn't get it."

The E.P. Taylor, a 1 1/4-mile turf race for fillies and mares which offers a purse of $500,000, is definitely on the agenda of Keemoon, a 5-year-old whom Drysdale trains for Henry Pabst.

Keemoon, who began her career in France but came to Drysdale in the summer of 1999, last saw action at Del Mar Aug. 3, winning Santa Anita's Honey Fox Handicap on the turf at 1 3/8 miles for the second straight year.

Her most important win to date came April 26 in Keeneland's Bewitch, a Grade 3, 1 1/2-mile turf race.