09/22/2003 12:00AM

Plan changes and Winter Whiskey still wins


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - A pair of Canadian-bred 2-year-olds stole the show in open company here last weekend, when Winter Whiskey prevailed in Sunday's $134,250 Swynford and Dream About romped in Saturday's $268,250 Mazarine.

Winter Whiskey, a gelding owned by Ten Goal Racing and trainer Catherine Day Phillips, won his debut at 6 1/2 furlongs here Aug. 9. He then finished third, beaten 2 1/2 lengths, in the seven-furlong Simcoe, a yearling sales stakes here Sept. 1.

But the Swynford wasn't really part of the game plan for Winter Whiskey, who had been supplemented to the $250,000 Cup and Saucer Stakes and was pointing for that turf race for Canadian-breds here Oct. 11.

"He'd come out of the Simcoe Stakes in good order," Day Phillips said. "But that was six weeks before the Cup and Saucer, and we thought he should have a race between the two."

The spot of choice actually was a first-level allowance race at six furlongs here Sunday, but when that race failed to fill Winter Whiskey was entered in the Swynford, which was expected to be dominated by the imposing pair of Estevan and San Diego Blowout.

"It was a tough field," Day Phillips said. "I didn't know if he'd be good enough to beat them at seven furlongs."

Winter Whiskey proved more than good enough as he blew past a faltering Estevan and San Diego Blowout for a convincing victory.

And, Day Phillips believes the best may be yet to come.

"He'll be better going a little further," she said. "He relaxes nicely.

"When he trains, he has such a lovely long, flat stride. He's such an athletic horse; I think he'll be a natural for the turf."

Winter Whiskey could race next in the $250,000 Coronation Futurity, a 1 1/8-mile race for Canadian-breds here Nov. 1.

Dream About handles two turns

Dream About, who races for the Arosa Farm of Jurgen Schemmer, made her stakes debut and made short work of her four foes in the Grade 2 Mazarine, winning by 8 1/4 lengths under minimal encouragement from jockey Patrick Husbands.

The Mazarine was the third career start and first around two turns for Dream About, who was coming off an 8 1/2-length maiden win at seven furlongs for trainer Josie Carroll.

The $250,000 Princess Elizabeth, a 1 1/16-mile race for Canadian-bred 2-year-old fillies here Oct. 12, would be the next logical local target for Dream About. But, Schemmer and Carroll are not completely ruling out other options.

"The plan originally was to go on to the Princess Elizabeth, and if she won that you'd have to think she'd be the [Canadian 2-year-old filly] champion," said Schemmer, who had been away on business in Australia but was back in town Monday morning. "The problem is, she hasn't really been tested. We really don't know how good she is; maybe she could stand up to the big ones in the U.S."

Handpainted starting up again

Handpainted, who hasn't raced since finishing second in the Grade 1 Selene May 19, is on the comeback trail.

"She came up with a hairline fracture in a hind leg," her trainer, Carroll, said. "She's just started back in training. She's gone to Florida, to start up down there."

Handpainted, a Kentucky-bred filly owned by John and Glenn Sikura, suffered a severely cut hind leg when second in last year's Mazarine but went on to be a Sovereign Award finalist in her division.

Clark has big Sunday

David Clark was in the spotlight here Sunday, riding four winners from seven mounts on the nine-race program.

Clark won the third race with Bit Shee Believer ($21.20), the fifth with Dance Engagement ($10), the sixth with Winter Garden ($7.50), and the eighth with Arco's Gold ($9.30).

The 49-year-old Clark is in fifth place in the jockeys' standings here with a record of 70 wins, 54 seconds, 48 thirds, and purses of $3,988,686 from 447 mounts. He has nine stakes wins.

Clark will not be returning to the saddle until Saturday because he will be serving a three-day suspension, Wednesday through Friday, after losing his appeal of an earlier ruling.

Day wins weekend stakes

Woodbine-based trainer Jim Day dominated both $75,000 Juvenile stakes at Fort Erie last weekend, with Smart Serve taking Saturday's colts and geldings division and Copper Trail and Early Morning Rain running one-two in Sunday's division for fillies.

Day is the father of Catherine Day Phillips, who also sent out two stakes winners at Fort Erie this year. Her wins came with Geraint in the Benburb and Agolo in the Border, both run there July 20.