11/29/2004 12:00AM

'Brass' aims for stakes three-peat


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Brass in Pocket will try to cap her brilliant career with a victory Wednesday at Woodbine in the $129,000 Classy 'n Smart Stakes, a race she has won the past two years.

The 1 1/16-mile Ontario sire stakes has lured five other fillies and mares, including Kissed by a Prince, who should be the main threat.

Brass in Pocket has won 3 of 8 starts and nearly $300,000 this year for owner Frank DiGiulio Jr. and trainer Bob Tiller. She upset her stablemate Winter Garden in the Grade 3 Seaway Stakes in September and also took the Ballade Stakes in June.

Brass in Pocket has dropped her last three outings, which included a wide fifth-place finish over an inside-biased track going six furlongs in the Nov. 6 Ontario Fashion Handicap.

"We were sorry we ran her the last time," Tiller said. "That was probably my mistake. It just didn't work out that day. She's had a long, tough campaign, and is going into this race as good as we can get her. It's absolutely the last race of her career. She's been a wonderful mare. She's made over a million dollars."

Tiller has the most stakes scores by a trainer at the meeting (14) and is tied with Sid Attard atop the Woodbine trainer standings with 64 wins apiece.

Kissed by a Prince, a closer trained by Mike DePaulo, has run hot and cold this year. She defeated Brass in Pocket in a 1 1/16-mile allowance two starts ago, earning a 91 Beyer Speed Figure. She was a dull seventh most recently in the 1 1/8-mile allowance prep for the Maple Leaf Stakes.

"We rated her [last out], and she didn't really fire after we rated her," DePaulo said. "I don't think she wants to go a mile and an eighth. The Maple Leaf looked like it was going to be a tough race, so we decided to forget about it. There was really nowhere else to run her until this race. She's had a good rest, and has had a bunch of good works. She's ready to go."

DePaulo is concerned about the lack of speed in the Classy 'n Smart lineup, which figures to give the quick Brass in Pocket a big advantage.

"It looks like [Brass in Pocket] should be able to go to the lead and skip along," DePaulo said. "Coming off a race at three-quarters, she's going to be screaming to run."