09/06/2005 11:00PM

Jambalaya eclipses star barnmate

Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Jambalaya (inside) noses out Silver Whistle in the Saranac at Saratoga.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario - A Bit O'Gold has become accustomed to being the center of attention in the Catherine Day Phillips shed row.

But following last weekend's racing action, the 4-year-old A Bit O'Gold finds himself upstaged by his younger stablemate Jambalaya, the winner of the Grade 3,$111,900 at Saratoga on Sunday.

Jambalaya was a nose winner of the 1 1/8-mile Saranac after scoring an eight-length victory against fellow Canadian-breds here in the $500,000 Breeders' at 1 1/2 miles. Regular rider Jono Jones has piloted Jambalaya to four straight victories, all on the turf.

Now that Jambalaya has proven himself on the road, Day Phillips will consider Belmont turf races such as the 1 1/8-mile, Grade 2 Jamaica on Oct. 8 and the 1 1/2-mile Lawrence Realization on Oct. 16.

"It would be nice to keep him against 3-year-olds," said Day Phillips, who owns Jambalaya.

Day Phillips also plans to nominate Jambalaya to the Grade 2, $300,000 Sky Classic, a 1 3/8-mile turf handicap here Oct. 2 and the major prep for the Grade 1 Canadian International over 1 1/2 miles on the grass here Oct. 23.

A Bit O'Gold may get one more turf try

A Bit O'Gold, who has been targeting the $2 million Canadian International, also will be nominated to the Sky Classic.

A Bit O'Gold, winner of the Grade 3 Chinese Cultural Centre over 1 3/8 miles of turf here July 24, has given his connections pause for thought, however, after finishing third as the odds-on choice in Monday's Grade 2 Niagara.

"We'll tentatively try him one more time on the grass and see if it just wasn't his day," said Day Phillips. "He really had no excuses. He ran good, but he didn't run great.

"We have the option to go back to the dirt with him."

A Bit O'Gold was beaten 3 1/2 lengths in the Niagara, a 1 1/2-mile turf race won by Revved Up with Strut the Stage second.

Blanc, Clement break through

Revved Up's jockey, Brice Blanc, and trainer, Christophe Clement, both won their first stakes of the meeting in the Niagara.

Blanc was making his fourth trip to Woodbine this year and riding in his fourth stakes. Revved Up was Clement's second starter in a stakes at this meeting.

Both Blanc and Clement had had success in stakes here, although not in tandem.

Blanc won the Sky Classic with Bowman Mill in 2003 and the Nearctic with Kahal in 2000.

Clement had won five stakes here, all on turf, including Niagara Handicaps with Honor Glide in 2001 and with River Majesty in 1994.

Revved Up's owner, the Live Oak Plantation of Charlotte Weber, has now won five stakes at this meeting. Malcolm Pierce trained all the others, sending out Lemon Maid to win three stakes and Elle Runaway to win last Saturday's Ontario Colleen.

Brnjas-Passero team is back

The boys are back in town.

That was the tongue-in-cheek warning from John Brnjas, owner of Colebrook Farm, and trainer Frank Passero when the pair rejoined forces this winter after a five-year hiatus.

The reunion indeed has proved to be successful, and the crowning moment to date came here Monday, when Bright N Golden scored an upset the $106,400 Silver Deputy Stakes.

The last time Brnjas and Passero had visited the winner's circle after a stakes race was on April 16, 2000, after Miss Inquistive won the Star Shoot.

Bright N Golden, a 2-year-old gelding bred by Brnjas, scored his second win in as many outings; he also won at five furlongs with a $40,000 claiming tag here Aug. 18.

Brnjas and Passero now look forward to trying Bright N Golden at longer distances after watching him rally from last place under Jerry Baird in the 6 1/2-furlong Silver Deputy.

"The two I ran in this race are my Plate hopefuls, at least of those who have run thus far," said Passero, who also sent out Ashlee's Cat, the fifth-place finisher in the Silver Deputy.

Ashlee's Cat, also a Colebrook homebred, had won at first asking going five furlongs in maiden special weight company.

"We're just going to go lightly through the tulips with them," said Passero.

Brnjas has 24 horses here with Passero and another 30 in training on his farm near Uxbridge.

Huntingthetruth: Seaway-worthy

On Saturday, Brnjas and Passero will seek a second consecutive stakes victory when Huntingthetruth takes on six rivals in the seven-furlong, $113,500 Seaway, a Grade 3 race for fillies and mares.

Huntingthetruth, a five-year-old Florida-bred, will be making her second start after being claimed for $80,000 here Aug. 11. The first came in the 6 1/2-furlong Seaway prep, when Huntingthetruth finished a distant second to Fifth Overture, one of the leading Seaway contenders.

"I thought she ran a tremendous race," said Passero.

Patrick Husbands retains the mount on Huntingthetruth, while Fifth Overture will have regular rider Robert Landry in the irons.

Completing the field for the Seaway are Silver Bird, with Jim McAleney; Deputy Cures Blues, Emile Ramsammy; Roman Romance, Corey Fraser; La Trillium, Slade Callaghan; and Maryfield, David Clark.

* Former Woodbine employee Rod McArthur died last Thursday, at 75. A funeral service was to be held Friday at Dixon-Garland Funeral Home in Markham. McArthur worked in the racing department for 35 years, before retiring in 1996.