09/04/2006 11:00PM

'Provocative' tops Pierce duo


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - The Malcolm Pierce-trained entry of Provocative Touch and Baradore should be favored in Thursday's Woodbine feature, a 1 1/16-mile allowance on the grass.

Provocative Touch was never in the hunt when she made her debut on the dirt in December, but her two grass efforts this year were solid. Coming off a seven-month layoff following her debut, she came from 10 lengths back to win her maiden over a weak field going seven furlongs on turf June 28. Provocative Touch seemed ambitiously spotted in the Aug. 11 allowance prep for the Ontario Colleen Stakes, but she managed to finish fourth. Essential Edge, who edged her for third, came back to take the Ontario Colleen in a romp.

Corey Fraser retains the mount on Provocative Touch, who is a half-sister to Grade 3 turf stakes winner Hotstufanthensome.

Baradore has made her last 11 starts in first-level allowances, winning none but hitting the board seven times. She was second to The Queen's Stamp going 1 1/16 miles on July 8 and was most recently second after a front-running journey going about 1 1/4 miles.

Baradore's lone victory came in her second start at 2, when she raced in England. Her jockey, Jono Jones, and Pierce combined to take Monday's seventh race on the grass with 13-1 shot One Across.

Slade Callaghan inherits the mount from Jones on Dame Eliza on Thursday. Trained by John LeBlanc Jr., Dame Eliza won an Ontario-sired allowance at nine furlongs on the grass in her fourth start of the meeting. Most recently, in an open 1 1/4-mile allowance, she made a premature inside move before flattening out in the stretch and finished third behind Murani and Saffi.

Shortening up to a one-turn route should benefit Dame Eliza.

Air Wild and Playwild are also in the 10-horse field of fillies and mares.

Air Wild won her first two starts at the meeting on the main track, a $10,000 maiden race and a $16,000 claimer. After six more dirt outings, Air Wild was moved to the grass for an Aug. 16 allowance sprint, where she was a fast-closing second at 43-1. Air Wild is trying a middle distance for the first time. She will have apprentice Michelle Rainford aboard.

Playwild, third in the 2005 Ontario Colleen, is running back six days after finishing eighth in a seven-furlong allowance.

D Girl in Blue was entered only for the all-weather track.