09/15/2002 11:00PM

Love Kiss has regained good form


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Love Kiss, an impressive winner second time off the shelf last out, could be poised for another powerful performance in Wednesday's $79,400 Woodbine headliner.

Nine fillies and mares were entered in the allowance/$80,000 optional claimer. The race will be run at 1 1/16 miles on the grass, which received some much needed rain last weekend, creating a soft course on Sunday.

Love Kiss was a precocious 2-year-old for Stronach Stable and trainer Malcolm Pierce in 2000, when she won her debut and finished a nose back in second in the Grade 3 Natalma Stakes. She subsequently captured a minor stakes at Colonial Downs, but was winless in just four outings last year.

Love Kiss resurfaced here in a $62,500 optional-claiming sprint on July 20, finishing seventh. She put it all together at that same level most recently, in a one-mile race over yielding ground, closing with a rush to beat a quality field in good time.

Woodbine's leading rider, Patrick Husbands, retains the mount on Love Kiss, a beautifully bred daughter of Gone West and Hero's Love, Canada's turf champion in 1993.

Soundtrack is surprisingly winless since taking the 2001 Ontario Colleen Handicap last summer, but has tried some tough spots along the way. Trained by Mike Doyle, she was a late-running second in the Belle Geste Stakes on Aug. 24, but wasn't a factor just 10 days ago, in the Grade 2 Canadian Handicap.

Second-leading rider Chantal Sutherland should make some noise aboard Soundtrack, who is owned and bred by Dr. John Storer.

Tuff Chick, a close third in the 2000 Natalma, is trying the turf for the first time since she finished fourth in a Feb. 9 allowance at Gulfstream Park. Trained by Roger Attfield, she is returning from a 3 1/2-month layoff, and has fared well when fresh in the past.

Letter of Intent, also trained by Attfield, would probably prefer the main track, but she was good enough to finish third in the 2001 Estrapade Handicap over the Hollywood Park turf.

Hollywood Ending has struggled since winning an easier optional claimer at this distance on July 1, but was overmatched last out in the 1 1/8-mile Belle Geste. She worked a bullet five furlongs on the main track on Sept. 12 for trainer C.C. Hopmans, and could snap out of her mini-slump.

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