06/27/2003 11:00PM

Maple Syrple trounces males in Clarendon

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ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Maple Syrple, an impressive winner of her debut here May 31, took on the boys in the $166,500 Clarendon Stakes here Saturday and it was no contest.

Under a confident ride from jockey Patrick Husbands, Maple Syrple stalked the pace of Imperial Alydeed for the first three-eighths of a mile and then pulled away to win the 5 1/2-furlong Clarendon by 3 1/2 lengths in a quick 1:04.03.

Just in Case Jimmy, one of five maidens in the field of seven 2-year-olds, came from just off the pace to finish second, 1 1/2 lengths ahead of first-time starter Gold Gunner.

Rounding out the order of finish were Liberatedbyforce, Elusive Knight, Imperial Alydeed, and Saluda.

Maple Syrple returned $2.50 and attracted $205,000 of the $253,000 wagered in the show pool. The exactor came back at $8.30 and the triactor at $61.50.

"Riding her is a great feeling," said Husbands.

Although Maple Syrple is now 2-for-2 with earnings of $136,260, trainer Mark Casse believes she should be better at longer distances.

"She's a long filly, out of a Stalwart mare," said Casse. "She doesn't really break running; she scrambles early. She's just winning on pure ability now."

Team Valor's Barry Irwin said Maple Syrple would make her next start in the Grade 2, $150,000 Schuylerville, a six-furlong race for 2-year-old fillies at Saratoga July 23.