07/19/2001 11:00PM

Coastal Display eyes Benburb triple


FORT ERIE, Ontario - A win by the 8-year-old Coastal Display in Sunday's Benburb Stakes at Fort Erie will place him in rare company.

Coastal Display has won the last two runnings of the Benburb. In the past decade only two horses in Ontario have captured three consecutive editions of a stakes race. Frank Stronach's 1994 Queen's Plate winner Basqueian won the Durham Cup at Woodbine from 1994 to 1996. Woofy, owned and trained by Audre Cappuccitti, won the H.A. Hindmarsh Stakes from 1995 to 1997.

Coastal Display was a 15-1 upsetter in his first Benburb score. Last year he paid $8 as half of owner Carl Grguric's entry, which went off as the second betting favorite. And he isn't likely to be favored tomorrow. In his two starts this year he finished fourth of seven in a 1 1/16-mile turf test on July 14, and last of six in a dirt sprint a month earlier.

Roche Rock will likely be the favorite in the field of eight going 1 1/16 miles on turf. A 10-year-old gelding, Roche Rock closed for second in his last two starts. Both were on the grass and against tough competition. One was at a mile and the other was at the Benburb distance.

Beau Gentleman, trained by Lyn Simon for the Stronach Stable, is another who will attract support. He finished third in the Parnitha Stakes July 1. In last year's Benburb he was just 1 1/4 lengths back of Coastal Display at the end despite breaking from post 12 and racing wide.

Coastal Display's last race was better than it looks. He lost a lot of ground by racing wide on both turns and yet finished only five lengths behind turf specialist Don't Seven Out, who had a ground-saving trip.

"He needed that last race badly," said Harris Regen, assistant to his wife, Sue Regen, who trains Coastal Display. "We haven't been able to run him enough here. There's been no races for him. Not many races have been written for horses like him that have no conditions. One that was didn't fill. Only five entered."

The Benburb is one of the two $50,000 supporting features to the $350,000 Prince of Wales Stakes. The other is the Border Cup. Both are restricted to Canadian-breds that have had at least two 2001 starts at Fort Erie.

The Border Cup, also at 1 1/16 miles on turf, will be without last year's winner, Perfectlydelicious. She will run in a new stakes at Fort Erie, next month's the Golden Horseshoe.

"It was a last-minute decision," said Dan Wills trainer of Perfectlydelicious. "The owner decided that the seven-furlong distance of the new stakes would be better for her. And basically we have a live one in here [Orientalspringhope]. She loves to run fresh and she's been off for a month."

Orientalspringhope won her two starts this year, both allowance races. Wills counts Lewinsky, Love Shy, and Prospective Gal as the main threats.