09/13/2004 12:00AM

Lucrative pit stop for 'Flyer'


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Fearless Flyer began her career in relative obscurity in Ireland this spring. But now she's headed for the bright lights of California, a budding starlet for owner Paul Reddam and trainer Ben Cecil after capturing the Grade 3 Natalma Stakes here at Woodbine last Sunday.

Fearless Flyer made her first three starts for trainer Tommy Stack, finishing third twice before winning her maiden by 13 lengths over one mile at Bellestown. Although Cecil was on hand for the Natalma, Stack again was trainer of record. He was represented by his son and assistant, Fozzy Stack.

Fearless Flyer made one start for Reddam at Leopardstown, finishing last of seven but beaten just 5 1/4 lengths while facing colts in a listed race.

"We picked this race out for her on her way to California," said Cecil. "It worked out very nicely.

"She's already won a Grade 3. As a broodmare, she's worth as much as we paid for her."

Cecil would not disclose the purchase price.

Cecil said he plans to nominate Fearless Flyer to the Grade 2, $200,000 Oak Leaf, a 1 1/16-mile race on the main track at Santa Anita on Oct. 2.

"We'll have to see how she trains on dirt," said Cecil.

Stablemates run one-two

Last Saturday's Seaway Stakes was a Bob Tiller-Frank DiGiulio production, as Brass in Pocket won by 2 1/4 lengths with her stablemate Winter Garden a clear second following a poor beginning.

Brass in Pocket, a 5-year-old owned and bred by DiGiulio, picked up $111,900 and now is a millionaire with career earnings of $1,043,785 from 20 starts.

Winter Garden, a Kentucky-bred 4-year-old who was a $30,000 yearling purchase at Keeneland, has earned $821,038 from 17 starts.

"We often enter them together, and scratch one," said DiGiulio. "But, the way they drew, we figured they wouldn't get in each other's way. I really think they were the two best horses in the race."

Brass in Pocket broke from post 4, with Winter Garden starting on the outside in post 7.

The seven-furlong Seaway marked a rather quick return to action for Brass in Pocket, who had won a money allowance over 1 1/16 miles here Aug. 29.

"There are not a whole lot of options for her; that's why we ran her back in two weeks," said DiGiulio.

The Dec. 1 Classy N' Smart is a long-term goal for Brass in Pocket, who has won the last two runnings of that 1 1/16-mile race for Ontario-sired fillies and mares.

Winter Garden's next major target is the Ontario Fashion, a six-furlong handicap for fillies and mares here Nov. 6.

The Seaway marked the ninth stakes win of the meeting for Tiller, the leading trainer, who is at home recuperating from recent surgery, and the 28th stakes of the meet for Kabel, the meet's leading rider.

Niigon gets extended vacation

Niigon, winner of the Queen's Plate, has been put away for the season.

"He's off until next year," said trainer Eric Coatrieux. "He just needs a rest."

Niigon defeated A Bit O'Gold by three-quarters of a length here in the 1 1/4-mile Plate but dropped a nose decision to that rival in the 1 3/16-mile Prince of Wales at Fort Erie.

While A Bit O'Gold continued on the Canadian Triple Crown trail, winning the Breeders' here over 1 1/2 miles of turf, Niigon ventured to Saratoga for the Grade 2 Jim Dandy, a 1 1/8-mile race in which he crossed the wire fourth but was placed third.

Niigon also finished fourth in his last start, which came in the Grade 2 Pennsylvania Derby over 1 1/8 miles at Philadelphia Park, and concluded his campaign with earnings of $867,760.

Meanwhile, A Bit O'Gold has not seen action since the Aug. 8 Breeders' but is aiming for the $150,000 Ontario Derby, a 1 1/8-mile race here Oct. 10.

"He's doing fine," said Catherine Day Phillips, who trains A Bit O' Gold.

Classic Stamp preps for Canadian

Classic Stamp tuned up for the Grade 2, $250,000 Canadian Handicap by breezing six furlongs in 1:11 on the turf training track here last Sunday. Apprentice jockey Emma Wilson was aboard for the drill.

"I told her to sit on her, with a hold," said trainer Cliff Hopmans.

The Canadian, a 1 1/8-mile turf race for fillies and mares, will be one of the supporting features on Sunday, Atto Mile Day.

Wake at Noon has first breeze

Wake at Noon breezed five furlongs in 59.20 seconds on a fast main track here last Saturday, his first recorded workout since returning to the racetrack following a winter at stud. Regular rider Emile Ramsammy was in the irons.

"He didn't lose too much of his fitness," said trainer Abraham Katryan. "By the end of the month, he should be close to a race."