11/13/2001 1:00AM

Lodge Hill makes a money run


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Phil England is in the process of winding down his operation here and sending horses to Ocala, Fla., where he will train at Classic Mile Farm.

One England runner who will be getting a head start on the trip south is Lodge Hill, who will stop off at Aqueduct for Saturday's Red Smith Handicap.

Lodge Hill, a 4-year-old colt owned by Eugene and Laura Melnyk and R. Bristow Farm, last ran in the Breeders' Cup Turf, finishing eighth in the field of 11.

England would have considered running Lodge Hill in next month's Hong Kong Vase, but when Lodge Hill was not invited, England opted for the Red Smith.

The Red Smith, a Grade 2 race with a purse of $150,000, is run over 1 3/8 miles on turf.

Lodge Hill tuned up with a four-furlong work in 49.60 seconds under assistant trainer John McInerney on the training track here Tuesday.

Lodge Hill, winner of the restricted Breeders' Stakes for trainer Todd Pletcher here last year, came over to England's barn this year when England became the private trainer for the Melnyks.

Heading into his final week of the year in Ontario, England had won 17 races from 81 starts here, plus seven races from 25 starts at Fort Erie.

England, who had three stalls at Gulfstream in 2000, will have 25 horses at Classic Mile, most of them 3-year-olds of next year.

"We hope to have a whole bunch ready for spring," he said. "But we want to run at Gulfstream. We'll ship down from Ocala to run."

Among England's Woodbine-based runners likely to run at Gulfstream are Cherry Tree Hill, Brereton, and Warleigh. The most interesting of those prospects is Cherry Tree Hill, a Kentucky-bred 3-year-old filly who is undefeated and untested in two races here.

"She's got a lot to prove," said England. "We hope to have a big year next year with her."

La Lorgnette rematch

Miss Benny and Extend, who finished a neck apart in third and fourth in the La Lorgnette Stakes, will meet again here in Thursday's eighth race, an $80,000 optional claimer for fillies and mares.

Miss Benny got away slowly in the Oct. 14 La Lorgnette and trailed in the field of 3-year-old fillies early. She commenced a rally on the far turn of the 1 1/16-mile race, and closed steadily through the slop to finish a half-length out of second.

Miss Benny's plodding style usually enables her to get a slice of the purse, but she has managed just a single win in 11 starts this year while banking nearly $110,023.

Todd Kabel has the mount for trainer Norm McKnight, who claimed Miss Benny for $62,500 in August of 2000.

Extend stalked a rapid pace in the La Lorgnette and flattened out, finishing 10 lengths back of the winner, Madame Red, who subsequently ran third in the Maple Leaf Stakes.

Extend wired an entry-level allowance field June 28, and beat a decent group of $62,500 optional claimers while exhibiting a newfound ability to come from just off the pace Aug. 25. Robert Landry rides Extend for trainer Roger Attfield.

There will be live coverage of Thursday's third through fifth races as part of "Woodbine Post Time on Sportsnet," which will air from 1:30 to 3 p.m.

Streakin Rob drills for Display

Streakin Rob, winner of the Coronation Futurity in his last start, worked four furlongs in 49.20 seconds on the training track here Tuesday in preparation for Saturday's $100,000 Display Stakes.

Gary Boulanger, who rode Streakin Rob for the first time in the Coronation, was aboard for the drill and has the call for the Display, a 1 1/16-mile race for 2-year-olds.

Mapp Hill, who also is Display-bound, worked four furlongs in 48.60 seconds.

* A memorial service was held Tuesday for Thomas County, a former jockey and trainer on the Ontario circuit. Mr. County, brother of local trainer Pat County, died Sept. 30 at age 58 following a lengthy battle with cancer. A jack of all trades in the racing game, County won the last steeplechase run at Woodbine, guiding Caribou to victory for trainer Frank Merrill in an exhibition race.

- additional reporting by Ron Gierkink