09/29/2004 11:00PM

Big purse attracts McPherson pair


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Sunday's running of the Mazarine Stakes certainly isn't shaping up as the toughest ever, yet it will offer a purse in the neighborhood of $275,000.

That combination of circumstances is much to the liking of trainer Sandy McPherson, who plans to send out both Didycheatamandhowe and Hassayampa in the Grade 2, 1 1/16-mile race for 2-year-old fillies.

"We're not in it for the glory," McPherson said at trackside Thursday morning. "We're in it for the money."

Didycheatamandhowe, a Kentucky-bred owned by Martin Miller, won her only start, on Aug. 28 here, rallying for a neck victory in a $50,000 maiden claiming race at six furlongs.

"To be honest, I thought she'd be very live for $50,000, but it was a tough race," said McPherson, noting that runner-up Kathern's Cat came back to win a maiden special weight race and others in that field had since run well.

"I was impressed with her, but I have to be careful. It seems that every time I say that, they never run any good again."

David Clark will ride Didycheatamandhowe, who will be adding Lasix as she stretches out for the Mazarine. In her final Mazarine tune-up, she worked five furlongs in 1:01.60 here Monday.

"She's bred to go two turns, top and bottom," said McPherson.

Hassayampa seizes opportunity

Hassayampa, also Kentucky-bred, is owned by the Behind the Mask Stable of former National Hockey League goaltender Randy Exelby, who named his racing outfit after his U.S.-based sports equipment business.

After winning for $32,000 at first asking here July 14, Hassayampa finished third in the prep for the Natalma Stakes over seven furlongs of turf here Aug. 20.

In her last start, a first-level allowance over six furlongs on the main track here Sept. 23, Hassayampa sat just off the early pace and took charge with a half-mile to run en route to a three-quarter-length victory.

"She's got good speed," said McPherson. "She ran against the bias.

"I hate to say it again, but I was impressed with her race."

McPherson feels Hassayampa may be better on turf, and is uncertain whether her pedigree will suit two turns, but still has compelling reasons to run her in the Mazarine.

"She's seasoned, and sound," said McPherson. "And she's won two races, and it will be hard to find any other kind of race for her."

Jono Jones, who rode Hassayampa in her last two outings, retains the mount.

Burst of Fire may try Canadian International

Burst of Fire was not nominated to Saturday's Sky Classic Handicap, in which four of his Sam-Son Farm stablemates are scheduled to run.

But Burst of Fire certainly is alive and well and could make his next start the Grade 1, $1.5 million Canadian International, a 1 1/2-mile turf race for 3-year-olds and up here Oct. 24.

"He's coming off three consecutive mile-and-a-half races, so nobody's going to have a fitness edge on him," said Mark Frostad, who trains Burst of Fire.

"Whether or not he's good enough, that remains to be seen. He's probably not of that caliber, but he gets a big spread in the weights, and if [the field] comes up soft, we'd have to look at it."

Burst of Fire, as a 3-year-old, would carry 119 pounds in the Canadian International while older horses carry 126 pounds.

Nominations close Wednesday for the Canadian International and its Oct. 24 companion feature, the Grade 1, $750,000 E.P. Taylor Stakes for fillies and mares at 1 1/4 miles on turf.

Olympia Fields is sold

Olympia Fields, who is coming off a second-place finish in the seven-furlong Simcoe Stakes for trainer Mike Mareina and Kuehne Racing, has been sold privately to a partnership, which includes Barry Weisbord.

Olympia Fields, an Alydeed colt, is to remain here with Mareina and is slated to appear in next Saturday's $125,000 Bull Page Stakes.

The Bull Page, a six-furlong race for Ontario-sired 2-year-old colts and geldings, also is on the agenda of Wholelottabourbon, winner of the six-furlong Colin and 6 1/2-furlong Silver Deputy in his last two starts.

Wholelottabourbon worked five furlongs in 1:01 under new rider David Clark on the main track here Thursday morning.

Glory and Faith aiming higher

Mareina is hoping that Glory and Faith, whom he trains for Kuehne Racing, can use Saturday's first race as a springboard to the $250,000 Princess Elizabeth Stakes here Oct. 23.

Glory and Faith finished a closing fourth in her debut at six furlongs, and will be traveling seven furlongs on Saturday. The Princess Elizabeth is a 1 1/16-mile race for Canadian-bred 2-year-old fillies.

"I think she can be another force to be reckoned with," said Mareina.

California to add Woodbine simulcasts

Beginning Saturday, California will carry simulcasting of Thoroughbred racing from Woodbine for the first time since 1998.

A recent change in state legislation paved the way for California to add Canadian racing to its simulcast products, and Hastings has been part of the program since Sept. 11.

The third through eighth races on Thursdays through Sundays will be the general Woodbine fare for California players. Woodbine's Wednesday night racing does not fit in the California simulcast time frame.

* Woodbine and its teletheatres will be offering simulcast wagering on Saturday's Hawthorne Gold Cup. The post time is 5:04 p.m. Eastern.