11/05/2001 1:00AM

Poetically regains good form


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Poetically, Canada's champion 2-year-old filly last year, seemed to be in a rut heading into Sunday's Jammed Lovely Stakes at Woodbine.

But Poetically took a major step toward salvaging her sophomore season with a sharp score over favored Beautiful Belle in the $143,370 feature.

"She ran like the real Poetically," said Roger Attfield, in his office here Monday morning. "She certainly was her old self yesterday."

Poetically, whom Attfield trains for the Kinghaven Farm of David Willmot, had been scheduled to make her seasonal bow at Keeneland this spring with the Labatt Woodbine Oaks her main target.

But the filly came down with a blood disorder and skin infection that compromised her campaign, and she had failed to find the range in six starts prior to the Jammed Lovely.

"Her whole year was messed up," said Attfield. "You never know, that sickness she had in the spring might have taken a lot longer to go away than we thought."

Poetically did run well in two 1 1/16-mile starts this July, finishing second in Fort Erie's Bison City and fourth in the Delaware Oaks.

Bit she disappointed in her last two outings, running fourth in the Ontario Colleen when she did not care for the turf and checking in a well-beaten sixth in the La Lorgnette, where she didn't like the sloppy going, according to Attfield.

Sunday's seven furlongs on a fast track hit Poetically right between the eyes, however, and she could come back at that distance in the Grade 3 Bessarabian, a $125,000 handicap for fillies and mares here Nov. 18.

"We nominated her, just in case we want to use that," said Attfield. "Otherwise we'll put her away for a little, and bring her back as a 4-year-old.

Sweetest Thing may go to New York

Attfield, who recorded his 10th stakes victory of the meeting in the Jammed Lovely, could be looking to add to that total with Alpha Heat in this Sunday's $100,000 Glorious Song.

Alpha Heat, an impressive winner of her debut for Stronach Stable here Oct. 19, will be looking to follow the lead of Poetically, who won last year's Glorious Song.

Attfield is also considering starting turf specialist Sweetest Thing, the 3-year-old filly whom he owns in partnership with Mickey Canino and Bill Werner, in Saturday's Grade 2 Long Island at Aqueduct.

Sweetest Thing won the Breeders' and Wonder Where here before running ninth of 10 in Keeneland's Oct. 13 Queen Elizabeth Challenge Cup, a 1 1/8 mile race for 3-year-old fillies which was run over "good" going.

The $150,000 Long Island is a 1 1/2-mile turf race for fillies and mares and a big effort there would boost Sweetest Thing's chances in the Sovereign Award balloting for champion turf female.

Diadella takes turf finale

Diadella, one of her rivals in that category, notched her second stakes win of the season when she captured the $106,000 River Memories, the final turf stakes of the season, over one mile here Sunday.

The River Memories was the last start of the season for Diadella , who also took the Grade 2 Canadian here Sept. 9 before finishing a troubled eighth, beaten just 4 3/4 lengths, in the Grade 1 E.P. Taylor.

"She'll be heading down to Ocala," said trainer Pierce. "She'll get the winter off."

Heliotrope, Canada's champion turf female last year, was scratched from the River Memories due to the off-going and is headed to the breeding shed.

Tough decision for voters

Catch the Ring and Mountain Angel continued their intramural rivalry here in Saturday's $226,200 Maple Leaf Stakes, running one-two for Sam-Son Farm and trainer Mark Frostad.

Mountain Angel had won the last two rounds, as her entrymate ended second in the Maple Leaf prep and fourth in the Ontario Matron. Catch the Ring had prevailed in their lone encounter last year, taking the Canadian Oaks at the direct expense of Mountain Angel, and went on to be voted Canada's champion 3-year-old filly.

Despite her success Saturday, Catch the Ring may find herself playing second fiddle to Mountain Angel in this year's balloting for the older filly and mare title.

Choosing a winner in the category is complicated by the fact that the 1 1/16-mile Matron and the 1 1/4-mile Maple Leaf are the only "open" stakes going long on the main track here, while the filly and mare sprinters and turf specialists have more opportunities. The Matron was run June 17.

The 1 1/8-mile Belle Mahone, which had served as a lead-in to the Maple Leaf, was discontinued following the 1997 running.

"When we had the Belle Mahone there were often short fields, and the Maple Leaf became anti-climactic," said Chris Evans, Woodbine's racing secretary and director of racing.

Meanwhile, both Catch the Ring and Mountain Angel are heading for Sam-Son Farm in Ocala, Fla., and will get some time off before returning to the races.

* The stewards have suspended owner-trainer Michel Chretien for 45 days, from Wednesday through Dec. 2 and then from next March 23 through April 10. The ruling says Chretien had violated an Ontario Racing Commission rule by "having numerous hypodermic needles and a hypodermic syringe in his possession on the backstretc."

* Jockey Na Somsanith will sit out the Wednesday through Sunday cards after his appeal was disallowed by the ORC at a hearing last Wednesday. Somsanith had appealed the five-day suspension after the stewards ruled he had caused interference while riding Bucquista, who was disqualified from a first-place finish here Aug. 10.