06/24/2003 11:00PM

Holiday weekend is stakes-a-thon


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - It's not uncommon for a lull to follow the Queen's Plate, as the excitement surrounding Canada's most famous horse race quickly dissipates in the dog days of summer.

But there will be little time for post-Plate depression this year as Woodbine swings back with six straight days of racing, beginning Friday, and many stakes will be offered.

The added-money races begin Saturday with the $166,500 Clarendon, a 5 1/2-furlong race for Canadian-bred 2-year-olds, which attracted a field of eight.

Maple Syrple, a filly owned by Team Valor Stables and Robert Wilson, looms the one to beat as she steps outside her division.

Trained by Mark Casse, Maple Syrple was an impressive winner of her first start at 4 1/2 furlongs here May 31, and was entered in last Saturday's My Dear, a five-furlong race for 2-year-old fillies.

Casse, however, elected to forego an early confrontation with Nashinda, who had been equally impressive in winning her first start and was spectacular again in the My Dear, and await the Clarendon.

Miss Crissy and Dressed for Action square off

On Sunday, Canadian-bred 3-year-old fillies will run in the $150,000 Ontario Damsel, a 6 1/2-furlong turf race.

Leading candidates for the Damsel include Miss Crissy and Dressed for Action, both of whom are coming off stakes-placed performances in their first starts on grass.

Miss Crissy, owned by Harlequin Ranches and trained by Emile Allain, finished third in the 6 1/2-furlong Alywow, over a yielding course here May 31.

Dressed for Action, owned by Shoestring Stable and trained by Tony Mattine, finished second against males in the June 4 Bold Ruckus at six furlongs on soft going.

Mysterious Affair set to go in Zadracarta

The $100,000 Zadracarta, a six-furlong turf race for Canadian-bred fillies and mares, will be the headliner.

The Zadracarta is not a part of the guaranteed stakes schedule; it requires a field of at least five to be put on the card.

Mysterious Affair, one of the top filly-mare sprinters here the past few seasons, is among the locals pointing for the race.

Mysterious Affair, 6, finished a close third in last year's Zadracarta for owner, trainer, and breeder Mort Hardy.

Among her possible rivals are Quick Blue, who shipped up from her New Jersey base last August and won the Royal North over six furlongs of turf, with Mysterious Affair the runner-up.

No Comprende in Dominion Day Handicap

The Grade 3 Dominion Day Handicap, a 1 1/4-mile race for 3-year-olds and upward, is the feature on Tuesday, Canada Day.

No Comprende, a 5-year-old gelding owned by Clarity Stable and trained by Jim Smith, won the allowance prep for the $200,000 Dominion Day impressively, and will be looking for his first career stakes win in the Dominion Day.

Among his rivals might be Changeintheweather, owned by Pin Oak Stable and formerly based here with trainer David Bell but currently at Delaware Park with trainer Graham Motion.

Krz Ruckus runs Wednesday in Overskate

The stakes wind up Wednesday evening with the $125,000 Overskate, a seven-furlong race for Ontario-sired 3-year-olds and upward.

Krz Ruckus, two-time defending champion in the Overskate, is on target for a run at the triple. A 6-year-old gelding, he is owned by Ron Guidolin and Partners and trained by Mike DePaulo.

Bonus on the line in Bison City at Fort Erie

A number of local runners also will be in stakes action at Fort Erie over the long weekend. The headliner there is Tuesday's $250,000 Labatt Bison City.

The Bison City, a 1 1/16-mile race for Canadian-bred 3-year-old fillies, is the second leg of the Canadian Triple Tiara, which concludes with the $250,000 Wonder Where over 1 1/4 miles on turf at Woodbine Aug. 4.

Too Late Now won the first leg of the series, the $500,000 Labatt Woodbine Oaks over 1 1/8 miles on June 8. A sweep of the series is worth a bonus of $350,000.

Bred and trained by Jim Day and owned by Day's mother, Edna Arrow, Too Late Now is undefeated in a four-start career that began on April 5.

Too Late Now had her major work for the Bison City here Tuesday, breezing five furlongs in 1:00.80 on a fast main track with regular rider Robert Landry in the irons.

Seeking the Ring, Santerra, and Brattothecore, the 2-3-4 finishers in the Oaks, also are slated to return for the Bison City.

Woodbine shippers invade Fort Erie

Woodbine-based performers also will be prominent in a pair of $75,000 stakes at Fort Erie Sunday.

Barbeau Ruckus, successful in the 1 1/16-mile Steady Growth in his last start here May 28, is slated to contest the Harry J. Addison Jr., a 1 1/16-mile race for colts and geldings, 3 and up.

Small Promises should be looking to defend her title in the Harry A. Hindmarsh, a 1 1/16 mile race for fillies and mares, 3 and up.

Sabourin appeals 20-day suspension

Jockey Ray Sabourin has appealed a suspension of 20 calendar days, which was slated to run from June 23 through July 12.

The stewards had ruled that Sabourin came in with his mount, Gemini Dream, and interfered with Stormthebarricade in the vicinity of the three-eighths pole, which resulted in a spill in the Victoria Stakes here June 14. Gemini Dream finished first but was disqualified and declared unplaced.

* Jockey Chantal Sutherland will be serving a three-day suspension, Friday through Sunday, after her appeal of an earlier ruling was denied by Ontario Racing Industry Board of Appeal.