10/30/2008 12:00AM

Pierce barn busy before moving south


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - The Fair Grounds meeting is beginning earlier than usual this year, on Nov. 14, and trainer Malcolm Pierce has started putting together his shipping plans for his annual sojourn there.

Pierce, who fashioned a 16-for-63 record at the 2007-2008 Fair Grounds session, will send as many as 30 horses there in an attempt to better that mark this time around.

But in the meantime Pierce and his wife and assistant, Sally, will be active in the closing weeks of the Woodbine meeting.

The Pierce barn, which has had hard luck in stakes races here this year - with an 0-7-2 record from 26 stakes entrants - will be looking to rectify that situation on Sunday when Lucas Street goes postward in the Ontario Fashion.

The Ontario Fashion, a six-furlong race for fillies and mares, offers a purse of $150,000 and attracted a field of 11.

Lucas Street, one of Pierce's winners at Fair Grounds last March, has gone on to record four more victories here with the latest coming in the allowance prep at the Ontario Fashion distance here Oct. 13.

But in her most recent stakes appearance, the Grade 3, seven-furlong Seaway here five weeks earlier, Lucas Street finished a non-threatening fifth in the field of seven.

"Every once in a while, she's just flat," said Pierce, who had been at Arlington Park sending out Much Obliged to a fifth-place finish in the Grade 3 Pucker Up on the same afternoon as the Seaway. "That race, you just have to throw out. She came with her real good race last time, and she's done well since. We're going to take our best shot."

Lucas Street, a 4-year-old homebred who races for Eugene and Laura Melnyk, is scheduled to be bred next spring.

But pending her Ontario Fashion performance, Lucas Street has a future option here in the $150,000 Bessarabian, a seven-furlong race for fillies and mares on Nov. 23, and could also join Pierce and run in New Orleans.

Spot chosen for Whisper to Me

Pierce is pointing Whisper to Me, who shipped to Keeneland to win a classified allowance over 1 1/16 miles of turf on Oct. 10, to the Blushing K.D. Handicap on opening day at the Fair Grounds.

Whisper to Me, a Kentucky-bred 4-year-old who races for her breeder, Pin Oak Stable, will be seeking her first stakes win for Pierce in the $60,000 Blushing K.D., a 1 1/16-mile turf race for fillies and mares.

In 2007, Whisper to Me won the Lyrique at Louisiana Downs.

She's Indy Money, Shilla also head south

Pierce's Fair Grounds group also will include the stakes winners She's Indy Money and Shilla. She's Indy Money, a Kentucky-bred 5-year-old mare, has not seen action since winning the Grade 3 Seaway here on Sept. 8, 2007. "She'll be ready by Fair Grounds," said Pierce.

She's Indy Money breezed four furlongs in 47.80 here Thursday morning. "I'm looking forward to running her," Pierce said.

She's Indy Money also won the 1 1/16-mile Ontario Matron here in July 2007 and was a finalist in the Sovereign Award balloting for both the older female and sprint categories.

Shilla, an Ontario-bred 3-year-old filly who won three stakes for her owner/breeder Brian Cullen and trainer Nick Gonzalez, was turned out over the summer and turned over to Pierce here recently. "She's training fine," said Pierce.

Shilla won the six-furlong Fanfreluche here last year and the five-furlong La Voyageuse and seven-furlong Fury this spring.

The Great Caruso preps

Pierce will send out The Great Caruso in Saturday's six-furlong allowance prep for the Kennedy Road Stakes. The Great Caruso is coming off a seventh-place finish in the Grade 2 Nearctic.

The Grade 3, $150,000 Kennedy Road, a six-furlong race for 3-year-olds and upward, will be run here Nov. 22.

The Great Caruso, a Florida-bred 4-year-old gelding, was beaten 4 1/4 lengths in the Nearctic, a six-furlong turf race.

"The allowance race I was aiming him for failed to fill last week," said Pierce. "I'll see how he runs here, and figure out whether he needs to stay here for the Kennedy Road or go to New Orleans for the turf sprints.

"That's his specialty, but he did win here on Polytrack this spring."

The six-horse field for Saturday's $87,900 allowance race also includes Legal Move, who is coming off a fifth-place finish in the Grade 3 Phoenix at Keeneland.

An Ontario-bred 4-year-old colt, Legal Move won the six-furlong Jacques Cartier and Kenora, plus a pair of open allowance preps here at the same distance while earning $328,309 this year.

Saturday's race will likely be Legal Move's last for trainer Mark Casse as Legal Move is scheduled to sell at Keeneland on Nov. 15 as one of Woodford Racing LLC's dispersal of 14 4-year-olds from its first partnership.

Wildcat Fashion works for Frost King

Wildcat Fashion, who is owned by Vinery Stable and Singer Stable and trained by Josie Carroll, worked five furlongs in 1:01 here Thursday in preparation for next Saturday's Frost King Stakes.

Wildcat Fashion finished second beaten a head in his last start, in the six-furlong Bull Page for Ontario-sired 2-year-olds.

The Frost King, a seven-furlong race for Ontario-sired 2-year-olds, has a $125,000 purse.

Wildcat Fashion finished second, beaten a head, in his last start in the six-furlong Bull Page for Ontario-sired 2-year-olds.

Carroll also races at Fair Grounds in the off-season and expects to run some horses the first week of the meet there.

Her Fair Grounds contingent is likely to include Serenading, who has been sidelined since becoming a stakes winner in the 1 1/16-mile Belle Mahone here Aug. 16.

"She had some bruising in one ankle after that race, and we wanted to give her the time off before it turned into anything more serious," said Carroll. "We sent her home for 60 days."