10/02/2007 11:00PM

Prep looks as tough as stakes

EmailETOBICOKE, Ontario - The allowance prep for the Bunty Lawless Stakes is an open race, and one of those rare preps that may actually be tougher than the stakes itself, which is for Ontario-sired runners. Last year, eventual Canadian champion grass runner, Sky Conqueror, used the Bunty Lawless prep as his final tune-up for the Grade 1 Canadian International.

Friday's renewal of the Bunty Lawless prep at Woodbine hasn't drawn any heavyweights, but there are several hard-knocking types in the one-mile event, most notably Awesome Action, As Expected, and My Imperial Slew.

Awesome Action, who was winless in eight starts last year, has turned his form around nicely this year at age 7. He won his season opener over Sterwins and Le Cinquieme Essai in the Ontario Jockey Club Stakes, and then wound up third behind Le Cinquieme Essai over soft ground in the Grade 2 Play the King Stakes.

Most recently, in the Grade 1 Woodbine Mile, Awesome Action outran all the other local runners after a wide trip, and finished seventh, just 4 1/4 lengths behind victorious Shakespeare.

Robert Landry, who has ridden Awesome Action in 37 of his 42 starts, has the mount again for trainer Sue Leslie.

As Expected is also having a career year, and will almost certainly be the pacemaker under Richard Dos Ramos.

As Expected finished either first or second in each of his five turf starts at the meeting, the most recent of which was a narrow win over $62,500 optional-claiming opposition. His fade job over 1 1/4 miles on the Polytrack two starts ago is a throwout.

As Expected's trainer, Radlie Loney, possesses solid stats with stretchouts and with horses who are coming off a win.

My Imperial Dancer is coming off a victory in the one-mile Halton, a relatively weak stakes for graduates of local yearling sales. The Halton runner-up, Full of Run, came back to capture a first-level allowance.

My Imperial Dancer was previously third in an Ontario-sired allowance behind the talented 3-year-old Rahy's Attorney, who subsequently won the Vice Regent Stakes.

Gerry Olguin will ride My Imperial Dancer for trainer Norm McKnight, a combination that is 4 for 9 at the meeting.