11/12/2002 1:00AM

Buffalo Jump reaches new heights


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Josie Carroll has always been high on Buffalo Jump, a 2-year-old homebred filly she trains for Thor Eaton.

Buffalo Jump rewarded her trainer's faith on Sunday, capturing the seven-furlong Glorious Song in her last appearance of the meet.

"I think she's run tenaciously; Sunday was just her day," Carroll said.

A winner at first asking on July 13, Buffalo Jump had finished second in a pair of six-furlong stakes, the Ontario Debutante on Aug. 11 and the Fanfreluche in her last start Oct. 20.

Buffalo Jump missed by a half-length in the Fanfreluche, as Miss Crissy rallied along the rail for the win.

"She likes to have a horse to run at, or run with," Carroll said. "I think, in her latest, she thought she'd put the competition away and that the race was over."

The next stop for Buffalo Jump will be the Fair Grounds, where Carroll has 30 stalls reserved for the upcoming meet.

"I probably won't run her again until January," said Carroll.

"She'll have a couple of races there, and then we'll look for a good 3-year-old campaign here."

Handpainted a Sovereign candidate

While Buffalo Jump is unlikely to make much of a splash in the Sovereign Award voting despite her Glorious Song win, Carroll still has a serious candidate for the 2-year-old filly title in Handpainted.

"She's got all the parts," Carroll said. "She's got the pedigree, she's got the talent. I'd love to see her win it."

A Kentucky-bred owned by John and Glenn Sikura, Handpainted won her first three starts here, including the five-furlong My Dear and the Ontario Debutante, before finishing second in the Grade 2 Mazarine Breeders' Cup at 1 1/16 miles.

Handpainted, however, suffered a severely cut left hind leg in the Sept. 21 Mazarine and was sent to Hill 'n' Dale Farm in Kentucky to recuperate.

"Everything at this point looks good," said Carroll, who hopes Handpainted will be able to return to training in New Orleans next month.

The other leading candidate for the 2-year-old filly award is Brusque, the 2 1/4-length winner of the Mazarine for owner-trainer Ron Woods.

Other Woodbine-based fillies who should attract some support are Miss Crissy, winner of the Victorian Queen and Fanfreluche, and Santerra, winner of the Muskoka and South Ocean.

Patient touch with Prince Alphie

Carroll also had Prince Alphie nominated to Saturday's Display and Ruby Park to Sunday's Bessarabian, but will not be represented in either race.

The $125,000 Display is an open 1 1/16-mile race for 2-year-olds, while the $150,000 Bessarabian is a Grade 3, seven-furlong test for fillies and mares.

Prince Alphie, owned by Bill Schettine, won at first asking going seven furlongs on turf and then finished second, beaten a neck, in a first-level allowance at 1 1/16 miles.

"He's not quite ready enough for [the Display]," Carroll said. "I think he's tremendously talented; he just needs more conditioning under his belt."

Ruby Park had been slated to begin a comeback in the Bessarabian but suffered an injury while training and instead is headed for the breeding shed.

"She was working awesome," Carroll said.

Ruby Park, who finished second in the Ballade in her last start June 12, was injured while preparing for Fort Erie's Rainbow Connection in early July.

An Ontario-bred 5-year-old, Ruby Park has won four of 19 starts and finished second six times and third twice while earning $286,984 for owners Eugene and Laura Melnyk.

Private Extension likely favorite

Private Extension got a late start on her campaign, but has made the most if it by recording two wins and a third in just three starts. She should be favored here in Thursday's feature, a $50,000 claimer for fillies and mares.

Private Extension reaffirmed her prowess for running fresh when she won her season opener Sept. 6 against $32,000 stock. Trainer Sid Attard ran her back a month later for a $45,000 tag, and she battled three wide for the lead before weakening to finish third.

Most recently, racing for a $40,000 tag, Private Extension benefited from a slow pace and a speed-favoring track, leading virtually all the way to win by a neck over Mighty Dixie.

Private Extension has an edge on her rivals in terms of freshness and Beyer Speed Figures, and her tactical speed makes her especially appealing. Constant Montpellier retains the mount.

Completing the field for the six-furlong dash are J and B's Nu Image, Crumpet, Can't Stop Lynne, and Dog Gone Hound.

Crumpet, trained by Red Johnson, was a beaten favorite in a recent Fort Erie allowance race in which J and B's Nu Image finished second.

Crumpet finished a clear second in her last local outing, against $80,000 opposition.

Stage Classic works

Stage Classic worked five furlongs in 1:01.40 on the main track here on Tuesday under regular rider Ray Sabourin and is a candidate for Sunday's Grade 3 River City Handicap at Churchill Downs.

Dave Cotey, who trains Stage Classic and owns the gelding in partnership with Derek Ball and Hugh Galbraith, also has nominated the 4-year-old multiple stakes winner to Aqueduct's Grade 2 Red Smith Nov. 23.

Both the River City and Red Smith are $150,000 turf races for 3-year-olds and upward, with the River Cities contested at 1 1/8 miles and the Red Smith at 1 3/8 miles.

"We're looking at both races," Cotey said. "If they're both really ridiculously tough, I'm just going to pack it in for the year. There's nothing here for him, for sure."

* Lush Soldier, a 3-year-old filly owned by John Franks and trained by David Bell, left Woodbine Tuesday for her engagement in Saturday's Mrs. Revere at Churchill.

Lush Soldier is coming off a third-place finish in the Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup at Keeneland on Oct. 12.

- additional reporting by Ron Gierkink