11/28/2004 1:00AM

Miss Grindstone upsets in Bessarabian

Michael Burns Photo Ltd.
Miss Grindstone upsets 4-5 favorite El Prado Essence to win the Grade 3 Bessarabian Handicap on Sunday at Woodbine.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario - The popular Miss Grindstone upset 4-5 favorite El Prado Essence to notch her first stakes Sunday at Woodbine in the Grade 3 .

Miss Grindstone led throughout most of the seven-furlong tilt for fillies and mares, setting fractions of :22.52 and :45.04 seconds, over a sloppy track. El Prado Essence had an ideal stalking trip on the outside, and seemed poised to pounce at the head of the stretch, but Miss Grindstone dug in through the final furlong to prevail by three lengths. Surprised Humor rallied to finish a length and three-quarters behind El Prado Essence in third.

Miss Grindstone covered the distance in 1:23.21 seconds, and returned $10.10 as the second choice in the six-horse field.

"She broke great," said Ray Sabourin, who rode Miss Grindstone. "She was comfortable where she was, and kicked on when she needed to."

Miss Grindstone, a $77,500 claim by owner William Robbins and trainer Frank Passero Jr. in October, banked $97,650 of the $164,250 purse. Her record stands at 14 wins in 26 starts, for earnings of $608,179.