10/15/2001 12:00AM

Madame Red rebounds after unexplained flop


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Madame Red had finished last of five as the odds-on favorite at Woodbine in the Sept. 30 prep for Sunday's La Lorgnette Stakes.

But when the chips were down in the La Lorgnette, Madame Red totally dominated her rivals, giving trainer Bob Tiller his 11th stakes win of the meeting.

Tiller, who trains La Lorgnette for the Norseman Racing Stable of Howard Walton, said he couldn't find anything physically wrong with her after the poor effort in the prep.

"We took every test you can take on a horse; it was just a mystery," Tiller said. "They're animals; they're not push-button."

Still, Tiller allowed that he had certainly not expected Madame Red to turn the La Lorgnette into a one-filly race.

"I was stunned," Tiller said. "It was an awesome performance. She went from probably the worst race of her life to the very best.

"We did some things different, which you always do after a bad situation. They just happened to work."

Madame Red would have to face older rivals in any future stakes engagement here this fall. The filly and mare events for which she could be headed are the $175,000 Maple Leaf, a 1 1/4-mile race Nov. 3, and the $125,000 Bessarabian, a seven-furlong race Nov. 18.

While Tiller does not have any horses for this weekend's stakes, he hopes to be represented by Meadow Gem and Rare Friends on Oct. 27-28.

Meadow Gem, a 3-year-old filly who captured the Duchess Stakes but has been a beaten choice in two subsequent outings, is a possibility for the $100,000 Ontario Fashion, a six-furlong race for fillies and mares on Oct. 27.

"There definitely was an excuse for her last performance, Tiller said."

Rare Friends, a 2-year-old gelding who is undefeated in four starts, including three stakes, is pointing for the $250,000 Coronation Futurity, a 1 1/8-mile race for Canadian-breds on Oct. 28.

"We'll try and stretch him out, which will be a chore," said Tiller, who will be sending Rare Friends around two turns for the first time. "But we have to try."

Win City may run in Autumn Handicap

Win City, who has contributed four stakes to Tiller's Woodbine total and also captured the Prince of Wales at Fort Erie, could see action in the $150,000 Autumn Handicap, a 1 1/16-mile race for 3-year-olds and upward here Nov. 10.

Tiller said Win City had "scoped with 50 percent mucus" following his third-place finish in the Oct. 7 Durham Cup, which was his first try against older rivals.

"He'll get one more start this year," Tiller said, adding that the Grade 3, $100,000 Discovery Handicap, a 1 1/8-mile race at Aqueduct on Oct. 31, also was a possibility.

Ginger Gold has shot for Sovereign

Ginger Gold, last weekend's other stakes winner, left no doubts about her superiority when capturing Saturday's Princess Elizabeth.

In adding the 1 1/16-mile Princess Elizabeth to her previous stakes scores in the 5 1/2-furlong Shady Well and the Natalma over a mile on turf, Ginger Gold presents a strong case for the Sovereign Award title in the 2-year-old filly category.

Lady Shari, who had become a candidate for the that championship when she won the Grade 1 Mazarine here, lost ground after finishing second in Sunday's Polly Drummond Stakes at Delaware.

Dave Cotey, trainer and part-owner of Lady Shari, said the filly flipped her palate and bled during the Delaware race.

"Her throat's raw, and very angry," Cotey said. "We're going to bring her home, and get her fixed up, and go on to something else. I imagine we'll run her once more this year."

Ginger Gold, trained by Sid Attard, could wrap up her campaign in the $135,000 Ontario Lassie, a 1 1/16-mile race for Canadian-bred 2-year-old fillies here Nov. 25. She is scheduled to winter in Kentucky, while gearing up for a potentially lucrative sophomore season.

Numerous Times work postponed

Attard, who has never trained a Sovereign Award winner, has another potential honoree in Numerous Times, who is undefeated in three starts here this year, including the Atto Mile. Numerous Times is being pointed for the Breeders' Cup Mile at Belmont Park on Oct. 27.

Numerous Times had been scheduled to work here Monday morning but that exercise was postponed after day-long rains Sunday led to the main track being closed.

* Jockey Dino Luciani has been fined $500 after the stewards ruled he left welts and cuts on his mount, Amy's Falcon, in last Wednesday's third race. Amy's Falcon finished third in the field of five.

* Trainer Mark Casse dropped his last-ditch appeal of the Shady Well result, which was to have been heard by the Ontario Racing Commission earlier this month. Casse had appealed the decision of the Ontario Racing Industry Board of Appeal, which had upheld the stewards' decision to leave up Ginger Gold's number after she was the subject of an inquiry regarding the start of that race.