07/28/2003 12:00AM

It's back to Ontario ranks for Santerra


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Santerra should be well-backed while getting some class relief in Wednesday's $126,625 Eternal Search Stakes at Woodbine, a 1 1/16-mile race for Ontario-sired 3-year-old fillies.

Santerra was one of the leading 2-year-old fillies at Woodbine in 2002, when she captured the restricted Muskoka and South Ocean stakes. She banked $205,966 that year for owner Ted Burnett.

Santerra ran fourth in her seasonal debut - the Lady Angela Stakes, then finished sixth when overmatched in the Grade 1 Selene Stakes. She had mixed success against Canadian-breds in each of her two most recent outings, finishing third in the Labatt Woodbine Oaks and a fading fifth in the Bison City Stakes at Fort Erie.

Trainer Mike Mattine said circumstances didn't go Santerra's way in the July 1 Bison City, which came three weeks after the Oaks.

"She was a little wide around the first turn at Fort Erie," Mattine said. "When the running started, she just didn't have it. [Jockey Constant Montpellier] said she was empty at the three-eighths pole. She ran big in the Oaks, which might have taken something out of her."

Mattine said he was pleased with Santerra's July 19 workout over the main track.

"She worked three-quarters in 1:14.40," Mattine said. "It was a real good work for her. She's back to herself. A month off should help her. She's better with some space between her races."

Todd Kabel, the leading stakes rider at the meeting, inherits the mount on Santerra.

Also in the Eternal Search lineup are Kissed by a Prince, Fancy Drinks, Regal 'n Bold, and Divine Hope.

Regal 'n Bold is coming off a lackluster sixth-place finish in the seven-furlong Passing Mood Stakes, her first grass experience, but she won a pair of six-furlong allowances in the spring while earning good Beyer Speed Figures. A daughter of Bold Executive, she has yet to try two turns and has a sprint-oriented pedigree, but could be a dangerous front-running presence under Jim McAleney.

Kissed by a Prince crossed the wire on top in three consecutive races in the spring, although she was disqualified from her debut for interfering with a rival. She was a nonthreatening sixth in the nine-furlong Oaks and was recently a wide fourth in the Passing Mood.

Fancy Drinks beat a weak field of Ontario-sired allowance opponents earlier this month. Her best effort at the Eternal Search distance was a third-place finish last fall in the South Ocean Stakes.