06/28/2002 12:00AM

Fleet of Foot stepping up in Damsel


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Unbeaten Fleet of Foot will attempt to take her game to the next level Sunday at Woodbine when she tries stakes company for the first time in the Ontario Damsel, a 6 1/2-furlong turf dash for Canadian-bred 3-year-old fillies.

Fleet of Foot, a daughter of Gone West, is just one of a seemingly unlimited number of blue-blooded Sam-Son Farm runners. She made short work of her rivals when she debuted in a May 15 maiden event, winning by two comfortable lengths.

Trainer Mark Frostad moved Fleet of Foot to the grass for a six-furlong allowance on June 7, and watched her score by 4 1/2 lengths. Her time of 1:09.20 was good for a Beyer Speed Figure of 81.

Frostad said he wasn't surprised by Fleet of Foot's prowess on turf. "She really took to it," the trainer pointed out. "Her whole family liked the grass."

Fleet of Foot is a half-sister to 1998 Canadian champion 2-year-old filly Hello Seattle, and a full sister to Go Classic, who was disqualified from a stakes victory. Her unraced dam is a half-sister to 1991 Canadian Horse of the Year Dance Smartly.

Completing the field for the $166,950 Ontario Damsel will be Lucenta, Spanish Decree, Simply Precious, Mulrainy, Embossed, Cavalier Billy, Gonetofarr, and Tacky Affair.

Embossed, trained by Mac Benson, has chased Fleet of Foot home in two of her four starts. Embossed graduated in a seven-furlong maiden special weight event when she tried the turf for the first time on May 25. She rallied wide after saving ground on the turn in a more recent allowance, ending up a nonthreatening second to Fleet of Foot.

"She put everything together all at once," Benson noted, "and has trained up to this race as well as can be expected."

Bernard McCormack, who owns Embossed with his wife, Karen, believes Embossed ultimately will prefer longer distances.

"I think her forte will be at 1 1/8 miles or 1 1/4 miles," McCormack said, citing the pedigree that show Embossed's first three dams are by stamina influences Roberto, Key to the Mint, and Sea-Bird.

Gonetofarr, Mulrainy, and Tacky Affair, all refugees from the June 8 Labatt Woodbine Oaks, are all are trying the grass for the first time.

Of that trio, Gonetofarr should have the best chance. A daughter of Southern Halo, Gonetofarr was a flat fourth in the 1 1/8-mile Oaks after enjoying an outside stalking trip. She won her previous race, the seven-furlong Fury Stakes, while upsetting Oaks winner Ginger Gold.

Reade Baker trains Gonetofarr, who has some turf breeding.