05/18/2008 11:00PM

First-timer may outrun his stats


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Even though the statistics are against him, Kinshasa's Paradis should be a live first-time starter in Wednesday's sixth race at Woodbine, a 5 1/2-furlong maiden special weight race restricted to Ontario-sired runners.

Kinshasa's Paradis was scheduled to debut on May 4, in another Ontario-sired maiden sprint, but he got loose during the warm-up and was scratched. He was bet down to 5-1 when he was withdrawn, mainly because of a pair of bullet five-furlong works he had posted in April.

Kinshasa's Paradis is a 3-year-old gelding by Kinshasa, who has yet to sire a debut winner from 33 starters. His trainer, Paul Buttigieg has just a 4 percent strike-rate with first-timers over the past five years. Kinshasa's Pride is a half-brother to the stakes-placed sprinter Vintage Year, a debut winner at 2, but his full sister, Vinshasa, failed to hit the board in three starts.

Buttigieg will also saddle Cat N Sassy in Wednesday's finale, a $40,000 maiden claimer. Cat N Sassy was a closing third in his only outing against $40,000 maidens, and Buttigieg has a decent record with second-timer starters.

There are two other fast-working first-timers in the sixth race, Stray Cat Stride and No Molestar.

The opener on Wednesday's eight-race card is a split of the Ontario-sired maiden event. Cappal Mor, trained by Danny Vella, will likely be favored in the 5 1/2-furlong sprint.

Cappal Mor earned a big Beyer Speed Figure of 81 when he finished third in his first start of 2008. He subsequently ran second to favored Drunken Love in another Ontario-sired maiden special, while receiving just a 68 Beyer.

Bold Surprise has been working bullets for trainer Ross Armata Jr., and could be a speed threat. He is by Ontario's leading sire, Bold Executive, and his dam, Clever Strategy, won 16 sprint races and $187,900.

Bears Target, another contender in the first, raced wide throughout after getting away slowly in his last race.

The lone turf race on the card, a one-mile maiden special for fillies and mares, appears wide open. Trainer Malcolm Pierce will saddle two runners, favorite Athena's Gift and longshot Fan Dame.

Athena's Gift has finished second in 3 of 6 starts, including her only grass start, a maiden event at Fair Grounds in March. She worked five-eighths on the turf training course here last Wednesday.