10/10/2001 11:00PM

Ginger Gold goes for glory

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ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Ginger Gold will stake her claim for honors as Canada's champion 2-year-old filly this year in Saturday's $250,000 Princess Elizabeth Stakes at Woodbine.

A field of eight Canadian-breds was drawn for the 56th running of the 1 1/16-mile event, which was won in 2000 by this year's Queen's Plate winner, Dancethruthedawn.

Ginger Gold has made all three of her starts in stakes for the Jim Dandy Stable and trainer Sid Attard. She posted a two-length victory when she debuted in the 5 1/2-furlong Shady Well Stakes July 8, and was third in the six-furlong Ontario Debutante Stakes a month later.

Attard moved Ginger Gold to the grass for her most recent engagement, the Grade 3 Natalma Stakes, and watched her win the faster division of the one-mile race. She prevailed by 8 1/4 lengths in a time of 1:34.60, which got her a Beyer Speed Figure of 88.

Attard believes Ginger Gold is equally adept on either surface, and is hoping that her improved effort in the Natalma was more a case of her relishing the added distance, and not the surface switch.

"I think she's just as good on the dirt," Attard reasoned. "I think she wants to go long. I was disappointed when she finished third because I thought she'd win, but I knew then that she wanted to go farther. She doesn't want to be rushed. She likes to run on the bit.

Attard describes Ginger Gold as a large filly who is a delight to work around.

"She's a January foal," he said. "You'd swear she's a 3-year-old. I've never seen a horse who has as good a temperament as her. Nothing bothers her. When I worked her on the grass the first time, she did everything right."

Richard Dos Ramos retains the mount on Ginger Gold, who will be tough to overtake for divisional honors with a victory Saturday.

Completing the Princess Elizabeth field are Happy to Be Home, Western Resolve, Mulrainy, Gonetofarr, Far And Near, Star Flicker, and What a Breeze.

Mulrainy should be the main threat off her recent third-place finish going 1 1/16 miles in the Grade 1 Mazarine BC Stakes, an open race. She was also third, beaten 1 1/4 lengths, in the seven-furlong Muskoka Stakes.

"I was very pleased with her race in the Mazarine," said trainer Tom O'Keefe. "She got shuffled back a little early in the Muskoka. She had to come wide, and was on her wrong lead in the stretch."

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