07/27/2004 11:00PM

'Howdy' has two turf options


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Multiple stakes winner Heyahohowdy should be loaded for bear in Friday's Woodbine feature, the allowance prep for the Aug. 14 Victoriana Stakes.

Heyahohowdy captured the 2003 Flaming Page and Belle Geste stakes for trainer Abraham Katryan, who purchased her privately for Kelynack Racing Stable in the spring of 2003.

In her first appearance this year, Heyahohowdy took the six-furlong Zadracarta Stakes with a strong rally from off a hot pace.

"I expected her to run big that day, because she had been training well," Katryan recalled. "She surprised me a bit, the way she closed so fast going three-quarters."

Heyahohowdy failed to bounce in her most recent outing July 11, in the allowance prep for Monday's Royal North Handicap. She stalked favored Hour of Justice in that six-furlong sprint, and finished a lapped-on second to that one while earning her second straight Beyer Figure in the low 90's.

"I really liked her last race, because I wasn't planning on running her there," Katryan said. "I was going to work her that Sunday, but the race came up light, so I decided to go in."

Katryan said that if Friday's race is moved to the main track, he will try to scratch Heyahohowdy out of it in favor of the Grade 3 Royal North, because he wants to keep her on the grass. He prefers the one-mile distance of Friday's race for her, instead of the Royal North distance of six furlongs.

Katryan was thrilled with the way Heyahohowdy worked five-eighths over the turf training course in 59.60 seconds last Sunday.

"She did it all on her own," Katryan said. "She worked nice and relaxed, and came back really happy."

Among the other eight fillies and mares in Friday's headliner are stakes winners Strait From Texas and First Quarter.

Strait From Texas triumphed in the Grade 2 Nassau Stakes here last year, and romped in a one-mile allowance at Tampa when she returned from a five-month layoff Jan. 10. She finished on the edges in two subsequent stakes at Tampa, and was a well-beaten fourth here most recently, in the Grade 3 Dance Smartly Handicap.

First Quarter hasn't been an impact player this year, although she ended up fourth behind Inish Glora and next-out winners Ocean Drive and Classic Stamp in the June 5 Nassau.

Kissed by a Prince was entered for the main track only, and will be favored if the race is taken off the grass. She recently won the restricted H.A. Hindmarsh Stakes at Fort Erie.