11/17/2003 1:00AM

Brass in Pocket going long


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Brass in Pocket, a leading contender for the Sovereign Award as champion older filly or mare, will be favored in Wednesday's $130,750 Classy 'n Smart Stakes at Woodbine.

Six other Ontario-sired runners were entered in the 1 1/16-mile race: Spanish Decree, Kabul, Royal Dalliance, Roman Romance, Deputy Cures Blues, and Dancen in the Sun.

Brass in Pocket has won 4 of 6 starts this year, while banking $397,380 for owner-breeder Frank DiGiulio Jr. She launched her campaign with a come-from-behind score in the Whimsical Stakes, and subsequently finished third in the Grade 3 Hendrie Handicap. She then took the Ballade Stakes.

Brass in Pocket doubled up in the Kamar, a restricted stakes, and then captured the open Seaway Stakes after a troubled break. She is coming off an uncharacteristically dull effort in allowance company, in which she faded to finish fifth after a three-wide trip over a track favoring inside speed.

Trainer Bob Tiller has run Brass in Pocket strictly in sprints this year, but she won three of her five route starts in 2002, including a win in the Classy 'n Smart. "She's going long again, and I think that will help her," Tiller said.

One for Rose, who has won two stakes going long this year, is regarded by many as the favorite to garner the Sovereign for older filly or mare. Tiller, however, has been very vocal about the merits of Brass in Pocket, noting that she beat One for Rose in the seven-furlong Kamar.

"I stick up for my horses, and I think Brass in Pocket deserves it," Tiller said. "She's won four stakes, and has a far better record than anybody else. I think she stands out. She has more heart than anybody else on the grounds."

Expect Brass in Pocket to play catch-me-if-you can on Wednesday, with jockey David Clark aboard.

Kabul, a 3-year-old trained by Jake Nemett, is seeking her first stakes triumph. She has been second in four stakes, on dirt and turf, the most recent of which came over a sloppy track in the seven-furlong Jammed Lovely.

Kabul won a 1 1/16-mile allowance on the main track Sept. 28, and was a close second on turf in the Oct. 13 Carotene Handicap.

Royal Dalliance has run two dull races since finishing a bang-up second to Parose in a Sept. 14 allowance. She got a Beyer Speed Figure of 90 for ending up a distant fourth in the Nov. 1 Maple Leaf Stakes.