06/01/2005 11:00PM

Classic Stamp due for luck


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Classic Stamp will try to put an end to her unlucky streak Saturday at Woodbine in the $348,900 Nassau Stakes, a 1 1/16-mile turf event for fillies and mares.

Classic Stamp captured the Grade 2 Canadian Handicap in September and then ran the race of her life in the Grade 1 E.P. Taylor Stakes, finishing third after lacking running room in the stretch. She was favored in her final 2004 start, in the Grade 3 Cardinal Handicap at Churchill, but could only manage a fifth over a yielding course, which trainer Cliff Hopmans said she abhorred. "For her, the firmer, the better," Hopmans said.

Classic Stamp was heavily favored in a six-horse field in her first start of the year, the allowance prep for the Nassau. She was mired in traffic for most of that one-mile race and wound up fourth.

"She has a big, long stride, and she needs clear sailing to get into overdrive," Hopmans said. "But she didn't get the opportunity to do that in the prep, because she was in such close quarters. Her game is running down the speed, but there wasn't a lot of speed in the race. Everybody took a hold, and they had her in a cage all the way around."

The Nassau has also lured U.S. shippers My Lordship, With Patience, Que Puntual, and Secret Heart.

My Lordship and With Patience ran one-two in the restricted Voodoo Dancer Stakes going a mile May 12 at Belmont. My Lordship took the Hill 'n' Dale Stakes on the main track here last summer.

Que Puntual, who was Group 1-placed in her native Argentina, is coming off an easy third-level allowance victory at Keeneland.

Secret Heart, a stakes winner in her native South Africa, finished second in allowance company in both of her North American starts.

Faswiga is an outsider with a shot. She had a horrible trip in her season opener in a preliminary allowance, in which she was blocked behind runners nearly all the way before getting up in the final strides. Trainer Ian Howard said he felt she deserved a chance in the Nassau because of the way she ran and the way she has come back to train.

"She got in so much trouble, but still won without getting hit," Howard said. "She always looked like she was going to be a nice horse, but that's definitely the best she ever ran. She's certainly stronger than she was last year."