09/26/2005 11:00PM

Hatpin takes significant class drop


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Duchess Stakes runner-up Hatpin deserves top billing in Thursday's Woodbine feature, an $80,000 optional claimer at seven furlongs.

Hatpin is in the midst of a productive 3-year-old campaign for trainer Mark Frostad, winning 2 of 7 starts while banking $177,033. After winning a six-furlong allowance on the main track May 15, she won the Alywow Stakes, a 6 1/2-furlong grass race, with authority in June.

Hatpin wound up second to a classy older runner, Black Rock Road, in a seven-furlong optional claimer on the turf July 22. She ran a strong race near the front end on the main track two starts ago in the seven-furlong Duchess, finishing second to Lemon Maid, a contender for this year's Sovereign Award as champion 3-year-old filly.

Hatpin failed to stay a mile on the grass most recently, in the Ontario Colleen Handicap, but managed to hang on for fourth after stalking the pace.

Hatpin has done most of her damage running close to the lead, but assistant trainer Hugh Chatman said she doesn't have to run up front to be effective.

"She will rate kindly enough, if somebody else wants to go," he said, "and if she does make the lead, she can settle, too. She's not rank."

Robert Landry, who retains the mount on Hatpin, has a record of 3-4-3 in 14 starts this year when riding for Frostad.

Maryfield, a speedy 4-year-old trained by Josie Carroll, returned from a summer break to finish second against similar company on Aug. 11. She pressed a moderate pace last time before retreating in the Grade 3 Seaway Stakes, eventually finishing a well-beaten fifth.

Search the Church, an $80,000 claim in July by trainer Frank Passero Jr., was recently third against $80,000 opposition in a six-furlong turf sprint won by English import Saint Etienne. Search the Church was third in the Grade 3 Duchess last year, and has worked quickly heading into this event.

Miss Concerto rallied in the final furlong to capture a $62,500 optional claimer in her last main-track outing, on Aug. 27. She had a wide trip when fifth behind St. Etienne and Search the Church on Sept. 10.

Navajo Princess has won two of her last three starts in minor allowances.

Flashy Anna could be a late threat in her first race with leading rider Emma Wilson aboard.