09/24/2003 11:00PM

One Only Knows chalk in stakes bow


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - One Only Knows should be favored when she makes her stakes debut Saturday in the $132,375 La Lorgnette at Woodbine.

Two stakes winners who were being pointed for the 1 1/16-mile race - Seeking the Ring and Kissed by a Prince - failed to make the race because of injuries. As a result, only One Only Knows and four other 3-year-old fillies were entered - Olympic Advice, Pheisty Phoebe, Curiosity, and Willow Bunch.

Trained by Woodbine's leading trainer, Bob Tiller, One Only Knows has won all four of her two-turns starts on the main track. Unraced at 2, she graduated third time out in the mud May 11, then doubled up in a June 4 preliminary allowance. She finished fifth two weeks later in her turf debut and took a second-level allowance on the dirt June 27.

One Only Knows beat older horses for the second straight time in a nine-furlong optional claimer July 19. She affirmed her dislike for the grass with a non-threatening third-place finish in an Aug. 8 allowance.

Tiller paid just $4,000 for One Only Knows at the 2001 Keeneland October yearling sale. He owns 70 percent of her; the other 30 percent belongs to Greg Thompson.

"She's been a pleasant surprise for us," Tiller said. "She's always shown determination. She's as gutsy a filly as you can get."

Tiller freshened up One Only Knows, with the La Lorgnette in mind, and is pleased with the way she's been working.

"She's had a couple of five-eighths breezes by herself," Tiller said. "She's going into it in good shape. She's a happy filly. I'd love to see here get some black type."

Tiller said he pondered sending One Only Knows to Hastings last Saturday for the British Columbia Oaks.

"We considered it," he said, "but when I saw how many horses were nominated to this race, I said, 'Why go all the way out there?' I was worried about her fighting the [tight] turns there, and I also thought this race had a chance to come up a little softer than that one."

Willow Bunch, a Josie Carroll-trained daughter of Affirmed, should be the main threat. She failed to run to her good turf breeding in her July 2 debut, but she graduated with ease on the main track July 25 and then won a Sept. 5 allowance.

Willow Bunch has ample stamina in her pedigree, and should be able to carry her speed around two turns.