06/04/2002 11:00PM

Oh Livia D. faces elders, not betters, in Ontario-bred race


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Three-year-olds have easily held their own when facing older opponents in preliminary allowance races so far at the Woodbine meet. In fact, many have been runaway winners, including Cheap Talk, Forever Grand, and Matter of Law.

Oh Livia D., the lone 3-year-old in Friday's fourth race, could continue the trend when she competes in a seven-furlong preliminary allowance for Ontario-sired fillies and mares.

Oh Livia D., who was eligible for Saturday's Labatt Woodbine Oaks, ran just once at 2, finishing third after getting away slowly in a six-furlong maiden special on Dec. 2.

Oh Livia D. has made three starts at this stand. She rallied four wide to win her maiden over a sloppy track on April 12, and came back just nine days later to finish second in the Lady Angela Stakes, a seven-furlong dash for Ontario-sired fillies.

Last time out in a 1 1/16-mile allowance, Oh Livia D. was pressed through quick fractions and weakened in the final furlong to end up second behind Oaks entrant Bright Knight.

Bob Tiller, currently Woodbine's second leading trainer, has always viewed Oh Livia D. as a nice prospect. "I've been excited about this filly all along," he said.

Rounding out the field in the fourth race will be Ebony Countess, Cat on a Roof, Peek a Boo Sara, Royal Ascot, Social Knight, and Bold Tigress.

Tiller will send out another live runner, Manning Avenue, in Friday's seventh race, an $80,000 allowance/optional claimer.

Manning Avenue, who has been idle since November, ran his best races of 2001 in the spring, which included a layoff score over $62,500 optional-claiming opposition.

Tiller wins with a high percentage of his 180-plus day layoff runners, and Manning Avenue's workouts suggest that he's ready to put his best foot forward.

Facing off against Manning Avenue in the six-furlong dash will be Nikie Your Honor, San Mont Andreas, Estonia, Prince Monty, and Oye Yoye Yoye.

San Mont Andreas, a speedy 4-year-old, won two restricted stakes at 2. He also took the Bold Ruckus Stakes last year, but was shelved for the remainder of 2001 after finishing fifth in the July 4 Jersey Shore BC Stakes at Monmouth Park.

San Mont Andreas resurfaced with trainer Mike DePaulo April 26, finishing third in a slow $100,000 optional claimer won by Sam Lord's Castle. He makes his first start with Lasix on Friday.

Prince Monty beat an accomplished group of $50,000 claimers on May 15 for trainer Scott Fairlie.

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