08/03/2001 11:00PM

'Pistol' eyes Victoriana repeat


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Bristol Pistol seeks to win the $133,750 Victoriana Stakes for the second straight year Monday at Woodbine.

Seven other Ontario-sired fillies and mares were entered in the 1 1/16-mile turf race, including American invader Lady Brook.

Bristol Pistol parlayed a decent effort in the 2000 Dance Smartly Handicap into a daylight score in the 2000 Victoriana, and will try to duplicate the pattern Monday. She closed wide from seven lengths back in this year's Dance Smartly to finish just two lengths back in fifth.

Trainer Mac Benson felt Bristol Pistol didn't have the best of trips in the 1 1/8-mile Dance Smartly.

"It didn't set up for her the way I wanted it to," Benson said. "She wasn't beaten that far, but nothing went right. She had to circle the field, and wound up in the middle of the course. You have to save some ground on these big wide sweeping turns."

Benson, who sent out Allende to take the

July 22 Hong Kong Jockey Club Trophy Stakes, believes Bristol Pistol is better than ever this year at 5.

"I think she's stronger this year," Benson said. "She's matured, and she's more muscular."

Regular rider Na Somsanith will ride Bristol Pistol for Augustin Stable.

Completing the Victoriana field are Love a Ruckus, Except for Wanda, Cruel Dawn, Nymphenburg, Deadly Vices, and Knight Dancer.

Nymphenburg and Except for Wanda were sixth and seventh, respectively, in the Grade 3 Dance Smartly. Nymphenburg rallied wide to finish virtually on even terms with Bristol Pistol, while Except for Wanda pressed a moderate pace before weakening in the lane.

Nymphenburg, who was second in each of her first three outings at the meet for trainer Jerry Meyer, is getting a rider switch to journeyman Gary Boulanger.

Except for Wanda captured the 2000 Dance Smartly in her fourth start of the year, and could be ready to regain her optimum form here in her fourth start off the shelf. Bruce Smither trains.

Lady Brook has been idle since her third-place finish in the June 16 Aspidistra Handicap at Calder. She's shipping in from New York for what will be her first start for trainer Howie Tesher, who won the 1996 Bunty Lawless Stakes here with Influent.

Love a Ruckus, victorious in two restricted stakes in 2000, was fifth in her lone outing this year in a difficult stakes prep May 19.

"She had a little problem, so we backed off on her for a while," said trainer David Bell. "She's been training well enough."