08/31/2001 11:00PM

Honor Glide tops American one-two punch


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Honor Glide turned back a stretch bid from another American shipper, Royal Strand, to capture Saturday's

Grade 2 $335,100 Niagara Breeders' Cup Handicap at Woodbine.

Robbie Davis rode Honor Glide, who assumed command from front-runners Wolvspa and Strike Smartly heading into the far turn of the 1 1/2-mile turf race. Favored Royal Strand tracked Honor Glide on the far turn and drew even with him in midstretch, but Honor Glide repelled the challenge and drew off for a three-length win in 2:26.52. Strike Smartly re-rallied to miss second by a nose.

Honor Glide ($6.60) earned $201,060 for owners Robert Schaedle and Bonnie Heath Farm. Christophe Clement trains the winner, a 7-year-old who spent his formative years at Woodbine with trainer Jim Day.

* Free Vacation won the $101,000 Flaming Page Handicap for the second straight year.

* Heavily favored Exciting Story, winner of the Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap in May, was upset by Praise From Dixie in a $67,200 classified allowance.