10/10/2003 12:00AM

Parsley concedes nothing


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Some seem ready to concede Sunday's Princess Elizabeth Stakes at Woodbine to Dream About, who is coming off an impressive win in the 1 1/16-mile Mazarine for trainer Josie Carroll.

But Ken Parsley, while having a healthy respect for the favorite, is not among them.

Parsley is the trainer of My Vintage Port, who is the star of his six-horse stable and will break from post 4 under regular rider Jono Jones in the field of seven Canadian-bred 2-year-old fillies for the 1 1/16-mile Princess Elizabeth.

"Josie Carroll's horse might be a monster," said Parsley, "but I think my filly will give a good account of herself. Jono said he's been on more talented fillies, but none that try as hard."

My Vintage Port, whom Parsley owns in partnership with Rick Pettifer, was purchased for $8,500 here at the Fasig-Tipton open sale. She has banked $121,176 from four starts and became a stakes winner last time out in the seven-furlong Muskoka, a yearling sales event. She also was the first stakes winner for her trainer and for her sire, Porto Foricos.

"I liked the Bold Ruckus in her," said Parsley, with reference to the damsire of My Vintage Port. "With a new stallion, you never know.

"She wasn't badly conformed, and I liked her demeanor a lot. Nothing seemed to bother her. I was looking for something cheap, and Ontario-sired, and got lucky with her."

My Vintage Port came in to the track in mid-March and debuted with a second-place finish at 5 1/2 furlongs here June 29.

"By early May, she was acting like a nice horse," said Parsley. "She only had four works before her first race; she was a little short.

"I started her quickly to get her racing experience, with the Ontario Sire Stakes [the Nandi] in mind."

My Vintage Port finished third in the July 26 Nandi, run over six furlongs of muddy going, after racing wide.

Returned to the maiden ranks for her next start Aug. 17, My Vintage Port ran into a bearcat by the name of Blonde Executive and had to settle for second, beaten 7 3/4 lengths at six furlongs.

"She was down on the inside, close to [Blonde Executive] at the head of the lane," said Parsley. "Jono said she didn't want to go inside, so he took her back. By the time she got going again the other filly was gone."

No one was going to get away on My Vintage Port in the Muskoka, however, as she stayed in close attendance to the pace before taking charge for a 2 1/2-length victory.

"I liked her a lot there," said Parsley. "I thought the seven-eighths would be right up her alley."

Following the Sept. 1 Muskoka, and a week and a half on the farm, My Vintage Port began pointing for the Princess Elizabeth.

"I've tried to space her races out so she doesn't have to do too much all at once," said Parsley.

"I think she'll do well at two turns, too. Jono says he can do what he wants with her. If we have to be on the lead, she will be."

Heyahohowdy preps for Taylor

Heyahohowdy had her final major tune-up for the Oct. 19 E.P. Taylor Stakes here Friday, drilling five furlongs on a "good" turf training course in 59.40 seconds.

With exercise rider Tyler Gaskin in the irons, Heyahohowdy was clocked in 35.60 for her opening three furlongs and galloped out six furlongs in 1:14.

"She's always a good worker," said Abraham Katryan, who trains Heyahohowdy for the Kelynack Racing Stable of Glenn Harvey.

Heyahohowdy will be seeking her third consecutive stakes score on the turf in the Grade 1, $750,000 E.P. Taylor, a 1 1/4-mile turf race for fillies and mares. The 4-year-old Heyahohowdy won the 1 1/8-mile Belle Geste here Aug. 24 and the 1 1/2-mile Flaming Page on Sept. 7.

Two options for Shoal Water

Shoal Water, a nominee to the Oct. 19 Canadian International, also worked well on the training track turf Friday, going seven furlongs in 1:25.60 with his stablemate Bet on the Rainbow, a maiden who finished in 1:28.20, serving as his target.

The 3-year-old Shoal Water is owned by Sam-Son Farm and trained by Mark Frostad, who already have Strut the Stage going in the Grade 1, $1.5 million Canadian International, a 1 1/2-mile turf race for 3-year-olds and upward.

Shoal Water also will be nominated for the $100,000 Chief Bearhart, a 1 1/4-mile turf race for 3-year-olds and upward on the Canadian International card.

Tiller has two for Highlander

Forever Grand and Rare Friends, a pair of talented sprinters from trainer Bob Tiller's barn, were out for separate five-furlong drills over the fast main track here Friday.

Forever Grand, with Jones subbing for regular rider Todd Kabel, was clocked in 59.60. Rare Friends, with usual partner Patrick Husbands aboard, went in 58.60, the fastest of 14 works at the distance.

Both Forever Grand and Rare Friends are pointing for the Grade 3, $150,000 Highlander Handicap, a six-furlong race for 3-year-olds and upward here Oct. 19.

"They're both going," said Tiller, who also is the co-owner of both horses with partner Frank DiGiulio. "There's nowhere else to run them. Maybe one will help the other and if not, the other one will keep going."

Forever Grand is coming off a rallying win in the six-furlong Kenora here Sept. 1, a race in which his uncoupled stablemate Rare Friends tracked a blistering pace.

* The Toronto Thoroughbred Racing Club will hold its monthly meeting here at 8 p.m. Wednesday in the second-floor International Room. Non-members are welcome to attend.