09/29/2001 11:00PM

Mr. Epperson collars Olympian in Highlander


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Mr. Epperson mowed down Olympian in the stretch en route to a daylight score in Sunday's $164,850 Highlander Handicap at Woodbine.

The Grade 3 event was the third stakes win of the year for Mr. Epperson, who stalked the pace while four wide under James McKnight. Swamp Line and Olympian hooked up through an opening quarter in :22.60, with the latter taking control after a half in :45.35.

Mr. Epperson collared Olympian nearing the sixteenth pole and then edged away to prevail by 1 1/4 lengths while stopping the timer in 1:10.65. Tempered Appeal, part of the favored entry with Wake At Noon, was another 1 3/4 lengths back third. He was followed by Krz Ruckus, Wake At Noon, Swamp Line and Hopeful Moment.

Estonia brushed the rail on the backstretch and unseated jockey Patrick Husbands, but appeared unhurt.

Said McKnight: "I was content to let him settle in wherever he was comfortable. He went along nice and relaxed, but was a little wide. Turning for home, it was just a matter of him kicking on."

Mr. Epperson ($10.40) earned $98,910 for trainer Scott Fairlie, who owns the gelding in partnership with Robert Fairlie, R. Marlow and B. Brolley.