09/05/2001 11:00PM

First part of split stakes tougher


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - American runners Global Vision and Christmas Party drew into the first and possibly tougher division of Saturday's Grade 3 Natalma Stakes at Woodbine, a one-mile turf race for 2-year-old fillies.

Lush Soldier may be the one to beat in the second Natalma split, which is strictly a local affair. Each division is worth $139,250.

New York invader Global Vision was a troubled fifth when she debuted on the main track at Belmont in June. She put it all together July 13, coming from just off the pace to cover six furlongs on the Belmont grass in 1:10.20, good for a 76 Beyer Speed Figure.

Global Vision, from the first crop of Breeders' Cup Mile winner Spinning World, is trained by Hall of Famer Bill Mott, who captured a division of the 1995 Natalma with Platinum Blonde.

Christmas Party, who was cross-entered in the $50,000 Salem County on turf at The Meadowlands on Friday, graduated first time out in a 5 1/2-furlong race at Colonial Downs for trainer Michael Dickinson, who won the 1996 Breeders' Cup Mile here with Da Hoss. She was checked on the far turn en route to a second-place finish in her only other outing, the one-mile Jr. Champion Stakes over the Monmouth Park grass.

Ginger Gold, who has a dirt pedigree, is debuting on the turf in the first split. In her first start, she bore out at the break and appeared to impede at least one rival before winning the Shady Well Stakes. She subsequently ran third in the Ontario Debutante Stakes. Sid Attard trains.

Completing the field for the first division are Reche Diamant, Southey, Blazing Flag, Forum Search, and the entry of West Madisyn and Suave Darling.

Lush Soldier lost three main-track outings before she won a 6 1/2-furlong maiden race on the grass July 29.

"She's not the prettiest of movers," said trainer David Bell, "but she's always trained like a nice filly. She disappointed us the way she was running on the dirt, but we thought she might run to her pedigree after we breezed her on the turf, and she did."

Bell trained Lush Soldier's sire, Lost Soldier, who set the one-mile course record of 1:32.80 here in 1996.

My Dear Stakes winner Jealous Forum, trained by Mark Casse, has yet to try the grass but is a half-sister to four turf winners.

Rounding out the lineup for the second division are Bala, Strait From Texas, La Loche, Full Spectrum, Panasofskee, Matter of Law, and Fullup.

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