06/21/2006 11:00PM

Kabul gears up for another run at stakes


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Kabul and Elle Runaway head a quality field of six fillies and mares in Saturday's Woodbine feature, an $87,900 allowance prep for the Grade 2 Dance Smartly Stakes.

Kabul, a 6-year-old with career earnings of $705,572, has never won a stakes, but has come close on several occasions. She was second in four stakes at 3, two on dirt and two on turf, including a head loss to Classic Stamp in the nine-furlong Carotene.

Kabul won three grass allowances and finished fourth in a pair of stakes in her 4-year-old season. She had another productive campaign last year, taking 2 of 11 starts for earnings of $158,444. She lost by a nose in the Nov. 5 River Memories Stakes, which was taken off the grass.

Kabul missed the board in her first two starts this year, both sprints on the main track. She ran the race of her life most recently in the Grade 2 Nassau Stakes, run over soft ground, finishing third behind Belmont invader Naissance Royale and champion Ambitious Cat after hitting the front in midstretch.

Slade Callaghan retains the mount on Kabul, who is trained by Analisa Delmas.

Elle Runaway won the one-mile Ontario Colleen Handicap last September and went on to run in four more stakes to close the year. Her best effort in that span was a fourth in the Grade 3 Valley View Stakes at Keeneland on Oct. 21. After finishing last of five in the Suwannee River Handicap at Gulfstream in her 2006 debut, Elle Runaway rejoined trainer Malcolm Pierce's barn this spring. She was a stalking third in her only start of the Woodbine meeting, in a $100,000 optional claimer at 6 1/2 furlongs. She came back to work five-eighths around the dogs over the turf training course in 1:00 on June 16.

Apprentice Justin Stein, who has 1 win from 11 mounts for Pierce at the meeting, will ride Elle Runaway.

Black Rock Road and La Trillium should ensure a lively pace Saturday. Black Rock Road captured the 2004 Carotene in just her third race. She has finished off the board in three starts this year, the best of which was a fading fourth-place finish in the 1 1/16-mile Nassau.

La Trillium outran Elle Runaway for second after setting the pace in a $100,000 optional claimer June 1.

Invitational and Silver Impulse, the first two finishers in the 2005 Carotene, complete the field.

After running second in the July 31 Wonder Where Stakes, Invitational won her first stakes in the Carotene.