07/18/2002 11:00PM

Benburb entry double trouble


FORT ERIE, Ontario - Although neither horse has won a race on the grass, the entry of Good Company and Yatsko is likely to go off as the favorite in the eight-horse field in the Benburb, one of two $60,000 supporting features on the Prince of Wales card at Fort Erie Sunday.

The other supporting feature is the Border Cup, for fillies and mares. Both stakes are scheduled for

1 1/16 miles on the turf and are restricted to Canadian-breds who have had at least two 2002 starts at Fort Erie.

Ralph Biamonte, who trains both halves of the Good Company and Yatsko entry, had planned originally to run Good Company at Woodbine this week.

Good Company failed to earn a penny in two starts that do not appear on his recent past performances, but it was after checking deeper Biamonte changed his plans.

"I saw on one race [at Woodbine on June 3, 2000] that he only got beat six lengths and he was up there all the way," said Biamonte. "There were 14 in the field and the runner that finished second was Scatter the Gold, and he won the Queen's Plate that year.

"And in the other race it was Muntej, a grass specialist, who won."

Good Company, a 5-year-old, has won just 3 of 33 lifetime starts. Two of those wins however, were in his last two starts, the latest at Woodbine July 1.

"Good Company has changed in the last two months," said Biamonte. "I think winning instilled some confidence in him. He's changing leads now - we couldn't get him to do that before."

Yatso set the pace before fading to finish fifth in his last start, at Woodbine, an allowance race won by the promising Perfect Soul.

"His last race was terrific," said Biamonte. "The fractions were wicked, and we were pressed all the way. We gave him time off, and he will be going in at the top of his game."

Coastal Display, a 9-year-old trained by Patricia Regen, will be looking for his third win in the Benburb. The gelding was second in the race last year.

In the Border Cup, Soon to Be Single, a 4-year-old, heads a field of seven. The filly finished last of seven in the six-furlong Zadracarta Stakes at Woodbine June 29, beaten nine lengths after experiencing a wide trip.

That race came on the heels of two successive victories by Soon to Be Single, the latter score at 1 1/16 miles of Woodbine grass.

"My runner is a decent filly and she is quick," said trainer Jim Day, who also bred Soon to Be Single. "A 1 1/16-mile race here with the turns a little tighter will help us. Speed is probably an advantage here."

Soon to Be Single was sired by Raj Waki, who is owned by Day and doubles as a lead pony.

Bubbi Trap, a daughter of Raj Waki, finished first in the $125,000 Rainbow Connection Stakes here Tuesday, but was disqualified the following day when it was learned she had carried an incorrect weight. An appeal is in progress.

Orientalspringhope, a 6-year-old who finished third in the Center Stage Anne Stakes here in her last start, could provide the main opposition.