10/03/2002 11:00PM

Not much grey in Grand's form


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Grand, who arrived from England on Thursday evening, adds a touch of intrigue to Sunday's Grey Stakes.

An Irish-bred colt by Grand Lodge, Grand has won his last two races by a total of 30 lengths, beginning with a seven-length romp over a mile on yielding turf at Newcastle on Aug. 23.

And after his last start, a 23-length blowout at 1 1/16 miles on the all-weather course at Wolverhampton, Grand was purchased by Barry Irwin's Team Valor and immediately was declared a candidate for the Grey, with an eye toward the Breeders' Cup Juvenile.

"Winning his maiden at Newcastle, he showed quite a bit of promise," said Scott McGeorge, an assistant to Grand's trainer, Nick Littmoden, who was due to arrive Saturday.

"In his last race, he wasn't running against anything special. But, he obviously takes to the surface."

Grand faced just three opponents at Wolverhampton and, according to McGeorge, his rider Ian Mongan always had things under control.

"He got outpaced early on, but the stable jockey knew exactly what he had underneath them," McGeorge said. "They came back to him, and he cruised by them."

Grand was out for some exercise here Friday, cantering around the main track under McGeorge and schooling at the gate.

And while the colt is not exactly an imposing physical specimen, it may be well to keep in mind the old saying that good things can come in small packages.

"He's a lovely little stamp of a horse," McGregor said. "He's not very big, but he's very well put together. He's stocky, and very strong.

"We're very confident in him."

Pierce has pair for weekend stakes

Four stakes races are scheduled for the upcoming six-day racing week, beginning with Wednesday's $125,000 Frost King, a seven-furlong race for Ontario-sired 2-year-olds.

Canadian-bred 2-year-olds will be in the Saturday feature, the Cup and Saucer over 1 1/16 miles on turf, and on Sunday in the Princess Elizabeth, for fillies over 1 1/16 miles on the main track. Both races are worth $250,000.

The holiday Monday feature will be the $150,000 Carotene, a new 1 1/8-mile turf stakes for Canadian-bred 3-year-old fillies.

Trainer Malcolm Pierce should be represented in the week's two turf stakes, with Classified Secret on track for the Cup and Saucer and Hot Talent probable for the Carotene.

Classified Secret debuted just last Saturday, finishing an encouraging third in a seven-furlong maiden special which came off the turf.

"He got left at the gate," Pierce said. "He just missed the break for some reason, but I was really happy. He ran hard in the middle of the race."

Classified Secret, a $130,000 buy at the local select yearling sale, is by turf champion Sky Classic out of Barbed Wire, who finished third in the Natalma Stakes at a mile on grass here as 2-year-old.

"We've been aiming for this race all year," said Pierce, referring to the Cup and Saucer.

Hot Talent also is nominated to the Oct. 14 Pebbles at Belmont and the Oct. 19 Valley View at Keeneland, but Pierce said he is leaning toward running the filly on her home turf.

Schickedanz's promising 2-year-olds

Trainer Mike Keogh, who will send out the talented Wando for the Grey, also has a leading candidate for the Cup and Saucer in Mobil.

Both Wando and Mobil are homebred colts by Langfuhr who race for owner Gustav Schickedanz.

After finishing sixth when debuting over 6 1/2 furlongs of turf here July 27, Mobil has shown steady progress and will come into the Cup and Saucer in search of his third straight victory.

On Sept. 2, Mobil won his maiden in the seven-furlong Simcoe, a yearling sales stakes. Then, last Friday he scored impressively over a mile and 70 yards in the slop in an allowance race which was designated as the Cup and Saucer prep but had to be taken off the turf.

Randall steps in for suspended Dwyer

Noel Randall, an assistant to Dave Dwyer, has become the trainer of record while Dwyer sits out a 15-day suspension for a positive test.

Natalina, whom Dwyer had saddled for a third-place finish here July 12, was disqualified and placed last after postrace testing indicated the presence of methocarbamol (Robaxin).

Methocarbamol, a skeletal muscle relaxant, is a Class 4 drug and is primarily considered to be a therapeutic medication.

Dwyer's suspension runs through Oct. 14. He also was fined $1,000.

Meanwhile, Randall will saddle Cyberdevil, who will be seeking his third consecutive victory, but will be an outsider for the Grey.

Cyberdevil won his maiden for $25,000 here July 24 and doubled up Sept. 20 in an entry-level allowance. Both successes were accomplished in front-running fashion under jockey Jim McAleney over six furlongs.

McAleney, who had also been Wando's regular rider but has been replaced by Richard Migliore, will return aboard Cyberdevil.

Sovereign deadline Nov. 17

The Jockey Club of Canada has announced that the Sovereign Awards deadline is Nov. 17, which means that horses who have not started at least three times in Canada this year by that date will not be eligible for consideration.

The Sovereign Award ballots will be sent out Nov. 19 and must be returned by 5 p.m. Eastern on Nov. 22. That means performances in the final five stakes of the Woodbine meeting, set for the weekends of Nov. 23 and Nov. 24 and Nov. 30 and Dec. 1, will not be considered by the voters.

The three finalists in all categories, except Horse of the Year, will be announced Nov. 28.

The 28th annual Sovereign Awards ceremony will be held Dec. 7, at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel in downtown Toronto.