12/07/2002 12:00AM

Cats are away, so mice will play

Email

MIAMI - It's rare to find a two-turn handicap on the dirt for fillies and mares at Calder without Coolbythepool or Castlebrook in the lineup. But that will be the case on Monday when eight 3- and 4-year-old fillies seek to capitalize on the absence of the two division leaders in the $40,000 Express Star Handicap.

Redoubled Miss was no match for Coolbythepool in the Nov. 16 Elmer Heubeck Distaff Handicap, but did finish in front of Castlebrook in fourth. The loss snapped a three-race main-track win streak for Redoubled Miss, which included a head decision over Stormy Frolic in the Judy's Red Shoes Handicap.

Tonight's Wager finished seventh in the Heubeck in her United States debut and first race for trainer Bill Mott. A 4-year-old daughter of Valid Wager, Tonight's Wager had won her eight previous starts this year, all in Puerto Rico.

Among the up-and-coming fillies in the Express Star is Any Reason, a lightly raced daughter of Unbridled who in her last two races beat first-level and second-level allowance company by a combined 15 1/2 lengths. Trained by Manny Tortora for George Steinbrenner's Kinsman Stable, Any Reason will get her first real class check Monday.

Multiplicity, stablemate and sometimes pacesetter for Castlebrook, will make her first start for trainer Manny Wayar, having been sold privately since finishing a tiring seventh in the Oct. 12 Shocker T. Handicap.

* Band Is Passing, the 121-pound highweight and defending champion in last Sat-urday's $100,000 Tropical Turf Handicap, was scratched from the Grade 3 race because of swelling in his ankle.

"I think it might have just been a little allergic reaction to some topical lotion," said his trainer, Stanley Ersoff. "We put him in ice and it came right down but I never want to run him if I'm not sure he is 100 percent."

* Calder will run six days, with Tuesdays dark, for each of the next two weeks. Calder will be closed on Dec. 24 and Dec. 25, after which it will race daily through closing day of the meet, Jan. 2.