06/03/2001 11:00PM

Mix-up over fillies at Woodbine


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - A 2-year-old filly racing under the name Mighty Pioneer made three starts at Woodbine last October, recording a third-place finish and earning $4,994. But after a hearing last Thursday, stewards concluded it was another 2-year-old filly, named Bailing Twine, who actually raced under Mighty Pioneer's name and pedigree.

Both fillies are chestnuts and were purchased on behalf of local owner-trainer Mike Wright at the 1999 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky October sale. Mighty Pioneer was purchased for $10,500, Bailing Twine for $13,000.

"The first time I saw them, when they arrived here, they had their halters switched," said Wright. "We went by that all the time."

The mistaken identities did not come to light until this spring, when the real Mighty Pioneer was tattooed for the first time and photos of the filly were sent to The Jockey Club.

"The lady in Kentucky said this isn't the right horse," said Wright.

Bailing Twine, owned by Riteway Stable, Wright's nom du course, in partnership with Arnold Tenney and Jerry Shefsky, has been entered in Thursday's ninth race at Woodbine. Mighty Pioneer, in the meantime, will get to begin anew for Riteway Stable. Purses for the races in which Bailing Twine picked up checks under her assumed name last year have been redistributed.