07/05/2001 11:00PM

Gutsy La Loche goes for No. 2

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ETOBICOKE, Ontario - La Loche, Matter of Law, and Happy to Be Home, all unbeaten in one start apiece, are the only winners in Sunday's $146,745 Shady Well Stakes, a 5 1/2-furlong dash for Canadian-bred 2-year-old fillies.

La Loche could be favored off her gutsy effort in a five-furlong maiden special, in which she prevailed by a neck in 1:00.

Trainer Josie Carroll said La Loche hadn't trained like she was anything special until just before that June 17 race. "She was doing everything right, but wasn't particularly impressive," Carroll admitted. "Then, we worked her out of the gate a couple of days before she ran, and she really got on her game. My exercise rider got off her and said she was really paying attention. She came around at the right time."

La Loche is a homebred owned by Jim and Alice Sapara, who also campaigned her dam, stakes-placed Scattered Dreams.

"She's a midsized filly who's quite correct and very sensible," Carroll said. "She's done everything that she's been asked to do."

Matter of Law scooted 4 1/2 furlongs in 53.80 seconds when she toppled $80,000 maidens June 8 for trainer Reade Baker, who owns her in partnership with Janis Maine.

Baker, who also trained Matter of Law's sire, Matter of Honor, said Matter of Law was well thought of by those who broke her at a Florida farm last winter.

"They were high on her down there," Baker said. "She's always shown speed, and she has that great laid back temperament which Matter of Honor had. She ran well and showed a lot of speed out of the gate [in her race]," he added. "She's so laid back that I think she really wasn't fit that day. Even though she only won by three-quarters of a length, I thought she was much the best."

Baker said Matter of Law has trained well in the interim. She breezed five-eighths in 1:00.80

June 24 while in company with stablemate Classy Daniela, who subsequently won a $62,500 claimer for 3-year-old fillies.

"She got her first three-eighths in 33.80," Baker noted, regarding the June 24 work.

Happy to Be Home is the first winner for her freshman sire, Langfuhr, Canada's champion sprinter in 1996. She came from off the pace to take a 4 1/2-furlong maiden special by a half-length in a 1:00.20 clocking June 10.

"I expected her to win," said her trainer, Roger Attfield. "She's trained back nicely since that race, and I think she's going to be a nice filly. She's very professional about everything that she does."