11/18/2004 12:00AM

Carroll sees Fair Grounds as fine fit


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - With the end of November approaching, it is no surprise that trainer Josie Carroll is looking forward to her annual stint at Fair Grounds.

Carroll has been a going concern at Fair Grounds since setting up shop there for the first time in 1997 and has been organizing her troops for this year's meeting, which opens Thursday.

"It's been a really good meet for me," said Carroll, who has seen off her first shipment of six horses and has another six ready to follow.

Carroll says racing at Fair Grounds "fits well into the program."

"I have a lot of horses just coming back that I stopped on in the summer because of injuries and various reasons," she said. "They're ready to run now, and it's nice to have somewhere to run them."

Carroll, who eventually expects to have 30 horses at Fair Grounds, hopes to run Kalyptic in a maiden turf race early in the track's meeting.

Kalyptic, a 2-year-colt owned by Donver Stable, is coming off a second-place finish at Woodbine in the Cup and Saucer over 1 1/16 miles on grass.

Shaunavon, whom Carroll trains for owners owned by Jim and Alice Sapara, is a candidate for the $60,000 Pago Hop, a one-mile turf race for 3-year-old fillies on Dec. 18.

And no Carroll sojourn in New Orleans would be complete without Mr. Sulu, a Louisiana-bred 6-year-old gelding whom she owns in partnership with Aldridge McMurray.

Mr. Sulu has raced at the last four Fair Grounds meetings, making 19 of his 35 career appearances there. His successes there include the Crescent City Derby, the Louisiana Champions Day Turf, and the Dixie Poker Ace.

Off since late May, Mr. Sulu has been training well and could make his fourth consecutive appearance in the Champions Day Turf on Dec. 11.

Still some local business left

In the meantime, Carroll has a couple of important engagements remaining at this meeting, including Sunday's $125,000 Glorious Song Stakes.

Miss Venturous, owned by Donver Stable and Amy Dunne, is slated to make her first start for Carroll in the Glorious Song, a seven-furlong race for 2-year-old fillies.

Bred in Florida, Miss Venturous, then trained by Greg Tracy, won her first three starts at Northlands Park in Edmonton, including the six-furlong Princess Margaret and 6 1/2-furlong Bird of Pay.

In her last start there, which came in the one-mile Freedom of the City, Miss Venturous led through a quick half-mile before faltering to finish 12 1/2 lengths back in fourth place.

Kathern's Kat, who is based here with trainer Reade Baker and shipped to Alberta to win the Freedom of the City by 2 1/4 lengths, also is slated for the Glorious Song.

Carroll also is planning to run Kerrobert in the $125,000 Display Stakes here Nov. 27.

A homebred colt who is owned by Jim and Alice Sapara and Zane Polack, Kerrobert was a 5 3/4-length winner in his first lifetime start, which came over a mile and 70 yards of sloppy going here Nov. 4.

"He certainly has done everything pretty professionally so far," said Carroll, who will be sending Kerrobert on to Fair Grounds with a long-term eye toward next year's Queen's Plate.

"It's good when you have a 3-year-old, who you think has a future going long," said Carroll. "You can get them ready, get a couple of races into them down there."

Pierce looking to develop talent

Trainer Malcolm Pierce checked out Thursday morning for Fair Grounds, where he returned last winter after spending a couple of years at Gulfstream Park.

Pierce had been at Fair Grounds in his days as an assistant to trainer Mark Frostad, and from 1997 through 2000 after going out on his own.

"I have a few turf horses, so I may as well get down there now," said Pierce. "I'll have 12 horses to start with, 16 when I'm full."

Pierce will not have any established stars at Fair Grounds, however.

"They're mostly younger horses, 2-year-olds turning 3-year-olds," said Pierce.

"Hopefully, they'll be big names when they get back here next year."

In the meantime, Pierce will be leaving behind several runners who still have prospective engagements at this meeting. His wife and assistant trainer, Sally Pierce, will stay the course here before heading down to New Orleans.

Kathern's Kat going for three in a row

Kathern's Kat will be seeking her third consecutive victory in Sunday's Glorious Song.

Bred in Kentucky by owners Ken and Sarah Ramsey, Kathern's Kat had won her maiden over one mile on turf here before shipping west for the Freedom of the City.

"She's in great shape," said Baker. "She came back from her trip good."

Kathern's Cat will be reunited with Jim McAleney, who rode her to her maiden victory.

Two stakes shots at Pimlico

Baker and owner George Farr will be at Pimlico on Saturday to watch Touchnow and Regal 'n Bold compete in separate stakes races.

Touchnow will run in the $100,000 Anne Arundel, a 1 1/8-mile race for 3-year-old fillies. Rafael Bejarano has the mount.

Regal 'n Bold, a 4-year-old, is entered in the $50,000 Stefanita, a six-furlong race for fillies and mares. Edgar Prado has taken the call.