11/22/2001 1:00AM

Lassie a class jump for improving Galadriel


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Galadriel will be stepping up in class when she goes to the post here in Sunday's Ontario Lassie Stakes.

While she is the only stakes winner in the field, and her success came at the Lassie's 1 1/16-mile distance, Galadriel was defeating Ontario-sired 2-year-old fillies here in the South Ocean, and the Lassie is open to all Canadian-breds.

But trainer Roger Attfield believes Galadriel is ready for the sterner test.

"Her mental attitude has been getting better every race," said Attfield, who watched Galadriel work four furlongs in 48.80 seconds Thursday morning under regular rider David Clark.

Galadriel, purchased for $100,000 at the local select yearling sale, is by Ascot Knight out of the Devil's Bag mare Enchanted Spell.

Named after the elf queen in J.R. Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings" series, Galadriel was making her fourth start and recording her first win in the South Ocean.

"She's getting nicer to train; she was tough early," said Attfield. "She was nervous, running on one breath, but she relaxed nicely last time; that was the key to her. She has a lot of ability, that filly."

Attfield also will send out Winning Chance for Stronach Stable in the Lassie, which attracted just five entrants.

Forest Princess to face males

Forest Princess, a 4-year-old filly whom Attfield trains for Anne, Ron, and Lesley Shaddock, worked five furlongs in 1:00.60 under Clark on Thursday and is slated to take on the boys here in the Dec. 2 Valedictory Handicap.

"She just wasn't right all summer," said Attfield, "but her last race was a pretty good one."

Forest Princess, who has had several gaps in her campaign this season, is coming off a fourth-place finish, beaten 4 1/2 lengths, in the Grade 3 Maple Leaf Stakes here Nov. 3. She earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 103 in the 1 1/4-mile Maple Leaf and Attfield believes the 1 3/4-mile trip of the Valedictory is within her scope.

Attfield also is pointing A Fleets Dancer, a 7 1/2-length winner for owner Cam Allard in last year's Valedictory, for a defense of his title in the $100,000 closing-day co-feature.

A Fleets Dancer also is nominated for the Grade 3 Queens County Handicap, a $100,000 race over 1 3/16 miles at Aqueduct on Dec. 1. But Attfield would prefer to run A Fleets Dancer in the Valedictory and then aim for the Grade 3 Gallant Fox, a $100,000, 1 5/8-mile race at Aqueduct on Dec. 29.

Sweetest Thing in Florida

Attfield also reports that Sweetest Thing, a candidate for a Sovereign Award in the turf filly-mare category, has settled in at Payson Park after heading to Florida following her second-place finish in Aqueduct's Grade 2 Long Island on Nov. 10.

A 3-year-old filly owned by the trainer in partnership with Bill Werner and Mickey Canino, Sweetest Thing could conclude her first campaign in the La Prevoyante Handicap at Calder on Dec. 29. The Grade 2 La Prevoyante, a 1 1/2-mile turf race for fillies and mares, offers a purse of $150,000.

Moonlight Affair gets the distance

Moonlight Affair proved that she could win around two turns Wednesday at Woodbine with a narrow victory over 45-1 shot Regal Snicker in the $108,900 Classy N' Smart Stakes.

Niki Nikininedoors, at 42-1, completed a $3,177 triactor by finishing third in the 1 1/16-mile event for Ontario-sired fillies and mares.

Moonlight Affair, a 3-year-old, returned $8.60 as the third choice in the betting. She banked $65,340 for Stronach Stable and trainer Tino Attard.

Moonlight Affair tracked front-running Beautiful Belle through splits of 23.11, 47.05, and 1:11.63. She hit the front at the top of the stretch, and turned back a stern stretch bid from Regal Snicker to prevail by a neck in a final time of 1:45.19.

Katherine of Ascot, last year's Classy N' Smart winner, finished fourth, while favored Nymphenburg was a disappointing ninth in the 10-horse field.

Todd Kabel, who also rode Moonlight Affair when she captured the La Prevoyante Stakes on turf Sept. 16, said the margin of victory was closer than it should have been.

"My horse was pulling up on me in the stretch, because she saw the gate tracks," said Kabel. "I was concerned that I was going to get beat when she did that, but she dug in gamely."

Milwaukee Brew going west

Milwaukee Brew, who had been returned to Tino Attard's care this summer following a disappointing start to his 2002 campaign, left Wednesday for California and trainer Bobby Frankel.

A 4-year-old owned by Stronach Stable, Milwaukee Brew had been tabbed for the trip west after working a very sharp five furlongs in 59.20 here Nov. 13. The colt won Woodbine's Marine and Thistledown's Ohio Derby for Attard last year and was the runner-up in the Sovereign Award balloting for top 3-year-old male.

Jockeys drop appeals

Three jockeys who were at various stages of the appeal process for suspensions have opted not to pursue their cases.

Jono Jones will serve a three-day suspension, next Wednesday through Friday.

Emile Ramsammy will serve a pair of three-day suspensions next year, on the same racing days that he would have sat out this season. Ramsammy will be off Aug. 7, Aug. 9, and Aug. 10, plus Aug. 16 through Aug. 18.

Apprentice rider Jeff Burningham, who had been issued a 10-day ban, now will sit out the last seven days of the meeting, beginning Saturday, plus the first three days of the 2002 session.

That meeting, originally scheduled to begin Friday, March 29, now will kick off with cards on Saturday, March 23, and Sunday, March 24. With the two additional dates, there now are 168 racing days scheduled.

* Jockey Jack Lauzon has been fined $300 for "misuse of his whip [raising it above his shoulders]" during the third race here last Friday. Lauzon, aboard Mannie's Mistake, won the race by three-quarters of a length.