07/09/2003 11:00PM

Pants N Kisses trying turf in Toronto Cup


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Pants N Kisses passed his first stakes test with flying colors, upsetting the 1 1/8-mile Victoria Park here June 8.

And although he will be making his turf debut, Pants N Kisses deserves more than a passing glance when he goes postward in Saturday's Toronto Cup, a Grade 3 race for 3-year-olds over 1 1/8 miles.

"I only worked him once on turf, last year, and he was very comfortable on it," said trainer Dave Cotey. In that work, on the training track turf course here last July 21, Pants N Kisses went five furlongs in 59.80 seconds.

Cotey, who also owns Pants N Kisses in partnership with Hugh Galbraith and Derek Ball, purchased the horse for the paltry sum of $3,200 after he had sold for just $1,000 at auction.

After the Victoria Park, the gelding sported career earnings of $124,888, and Cotey can foresee him adding to that total here Saturday.

"He went out to the farm after that last race, for 10 days," said Cotey, who alternates his stock between the racetrack and nearby Huntington Stud Farm. "It looks like he's coming into this race in good order.

"He's improved his Beyer Figure every time he's run. Now, we'll just have to see if he handles the grass."

All remaining well, Cotey also plans to send Pants N Kisses to Assiniboia Downs for the $100,000 Manitoba Derby, a 1 1/8-mile race on Aug. 4.

Cotey has had past success in the Manitoba Derby, winning with Wafare Warrior as an owner and with Stage Classic and Lady Shari as an owner-trainer. Galbraith and Ball were his partners in all three runners.

Cotey's older runners headed for stakes

Stage Classic and Lady Shari are still in the Cotey contingent here and are being pointed for upcoming stakes.

Stage Classic, a 5-year-old Kentucky-bred, is headed for the Grade 2, $300,000 Chinese Cultural Centre Stakes, a 1 3/8-mile turf race here July 20.

Heading the prospective lineup for the Chinese Cultural Centre are Perfect Soul and Strut the Stage, who finished one-two here in the June 15 King Edward, a 1 1/8-mile turf race in which Stage Classic ended up seventh.

"I don't really want to go in there," said Cotey. "But I don't know where else to go.

"He's just a cut under the best. But I think he'll be competitive with anybody else - around here, at least. He's just a cut under the best."

Stage Classic will come into the Chinese Cultural Centre off his best performance of the year, as he was beaten a nose by Mark One in the 1 1/4-mile allowance prep here June 29.

Lady Shari, a Kentucky-bred who was Canada's champion 3-year-old filly last year, has struggled this season. She was well beaten in two starts while Cotey has attempted to curb her tendency to bleed under the stress of training and racing.

The filly is freshening up on the farm but should be back next week with an eye toward the $60,000 Lauries Dancer, a 1 1/16-mile race for fillies and mares at Fort Erie next Saturday.

"If we can get her over the bleeding, she'll be more competitive," said Cotey. "There's nowhere else to go with her; there's nothing here."

No Sam-Son starters in Toronto Cup

Trainer Mark Frostad and Sam-Son Farm had six nominees to the Toronto Cup, including Shoal Water, Colorful Judgement, Parasail, and Walls of Jericho, but none of their horses will run.

Shoal Water is headed for Fort Erie's July 20 Prince of Wales, the 1 3/16-mile race that is the second leg of the Canadian Triple Crown. He will be ridden for the first time by David Clark.

Colorful Judgement is running here Sunday in a first-level allowance over 1 3/8 miles on turf, while Parasail notched his second win in as many career outings in a one-mile turf allowance last Sunday.

The long-term target for Shoal Water, Colorful Judgement, and Parasail is the $500,000 Breeders' Stakes, the final leg of the Canadian Triple Crown, which will be run over 1 1/2 miles on turf here Aug. 9.

Walls of Jericho also would have been a natural for the Breeders' Stakes but probably will miss the rest of the season.

"He has a condylar fracture - it's hairline, but it's enough that you've got to stop," said Frostad. "He's fine, though. He'll be back."

Walls of Jericho, a gelding, was a maiden after four starts at 2, all on turf, but he finished third in the Summer Stakes and his style suggested he would love a route.

He lived up to that promise here June 30, rallying to win over 1 1/4 miles on turf while making his first start in more than eight months.

Ford Every Stream out with foot injury

Ford Every Stream, an impressive winner of two straight allowance sprints this summer, also is on the shelf.

"He stumbled out of the gate last time and grabbed a quarter - he got a pretty good gash in it," said Frostad. "He's pretty sore right now; he's going to be out for a while."

Frostad had been hoping to run Ford Every Stream in the $125,000 Bold Venture, a 6 1/2-furlong handicap here July 19, but still has two candidates for that race in Soaring Free and Crucible.