11/21/2002 1:00AM

Quiet Dare strides into spotlight


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Jockey David Clark and trainer Mac Benson, who teamed up to win the 1985 Queen's Plate with La Lorgnette, appear to have a candidate for next year's Plate in Quiet Dare, an impressive winner of Wednesday's $108,000 Sunny's Halo Stakes for 2-year-olds here at Woodbine.

The Sunny's Halo was one of three stakes on Wednesday's card, along with the Display and Bessarabian, that were rescheduled from last weekend when the races were canceled because of poor track conditions.

Favored Quiet Dare ($4.30) stalked the pace in the Sunny's Halo before drawing off for a 6 1/2-length win over runner-up Shipman. He earned $64,800 for Augustin Stable while running the distance in 1:15.77 over a track yielding rapid times all night.

"He's a lovely colt," Clark said. "He broke well and two other horses wanted the lead, so I asked him to settle and he sat behind them like a 3-year-old. When I called on him, he reached for more ground and put everybody away. He's still learning, and he has such a lovely stride."

Derby prospect Gigawatt wins Display

Gigawatt, a prospect for next year's Kentucky Derby, scored a 2 1/4-length victory in the $135,625 Display, a 1 1/16-mile race for 2-year-olds.

Gigawatt tracked an honest pace under Patrick Husbands and assumed command at the eighth pole before edging away and winning in 1:43.04. Chad's Hope was second, while Tackling Stress rallied for third. Gigawatt paid $2.90 and earned $81,375 for Stonerside Stable and trainer Mark Casse.

Sheila's Prospect scores upset in Bessarabian

Sheila's Prospect ($16.20) became the third first-time stakes winner of the night, capturing the Grade 3 Bessarabian Handicap by a neck over Miss Sweep.

Lightning Pace was another neck back in third in the field of eight fillies mares The favored entry of Victory at Sea and Madame Red finished fifth and sixth.

Trained by Lorne Richards for K.K. Sangara, Sheila's Prospect earned $100,080 of the $175,300 purse. She ran the seven furlongs in 1:22.98 with Jim McAleney aboard.

Brass in Pocket wins her second stakes

Brass in Pocket ($3.80) won the only regularly scheduled stakes of the evening, the $127,250 Classy 'N Smart for Ontario-sired fillies and mares.

Brass in Pocket set sizzling fractions under Todd Kabel and turned back a stern challenge from Inish Glora to prevail by a half-length while running the 1 1/16 miles in 1:43.21. She earned $76,350 in her second stakes triumph. She is owned by Frank DiGiulio Jr. and trained by Bob Tiller.

Lady Shari powers up for Kentucky trip

Lady Shari, one of the leading contenders for the Sovereign Award in the 3-year-old filly division, worked five furlongs in 59.80 seconds under jockey Constant Montpellier on the fast main track Thursday.

Lady Shari, a Kentucky-bred, is scheduled to ship out Monday for the Grade 2, $250,000 Falls City Handicap, a 1 1/8-mile race for fillies and mares at Churchill Downs Thursday.

"I told Con to let her run along today if she wanted to," said Dave Cotey, who owns Lady Shari in partnership with Derek Ball and Hugh Galbraith. "She usually works [five furlongs] in a minute and change, or 1:01. We'll start doing some acupuncture and chiropractic work on her now, to get her real comfortable before she goes."

Cream Rises calls it a season

Cotey also had been looking forward to running Cream Rises, a 2-year-old filly who races for the same partnership as Lady Shari, here in Sunday's $150,000 Ontario Lassie.

But Cream Rises will miss the race because of an injury of undetermined origin and has been sent to nearby Huntington Stud Farm, where she will winter along with the other Cotey runners.

Cotey tops his 2001 numbers

Cotey, who enjoyed a solid rookie training campaign last year - 13 wins, 42 in-the-money finishes, and $816,333 in earnings from 117 starts at the Woodbine meeting - already has surpassed those totals heading into the last eight cards of the 2002 session.

The third-place finish by Tackling Stress, his only starter here Wednesday, brought Cotey's earnings to $1,148,625 with 20 wins and 64 in-the-money finishes from 132 starts.

Schnitzler expects 'big race' from Twice Bid

Rita Schnitzler, another trainer having a solid meeting, saddles Twice Bid in Saturday's $136,625 Sir Barton Stakes.

Claimed for $32,000 here Oct. 10, Twice Bid was a well-beaten fourth when claimed for $62,500 in his first start for owner Mark Stubbs, but Schnitzler downplays that performance.

"He had a little patch on his foot," she said, "and he didn't run quite the way I expected. I didn't like the way he finished.

"The next few days, he was really favoring his foot. So we took the patch off, and it was still infected inside. He's training a lot better now. I'm hoping for a big race."

Schnitzler, who sent out eight winners and 35 in-the-money finishers for earnings of $479,213 here last year, has 22 wins, 36 in-the-money finishes, and purse earnings of $1,104,252 heading into Thursday's card.

Among the highlights for her are a pair of stakes wins by sprinter Sambuca on Ice, a 5-year-old horse owned by Frank Romano who will be standing at stud at Display Farm after an injury cut short his career. Another Schnitzler highlight is a stakes score with Boldest of All, a 2-year-old filly owned by Stubbs who had her year curtailed after being hit by a virus here this summer.

Schnitzler, who had been spending her off-seasons at Laurel, stayed home last winter and plans to forgo winter racing again this season.

"Last year I didn't go away anywhere and I had the best year I've had in a long time," she said. "We'll ship back in at the beginning of February."

* The Toronto Thoroughbred Racing Club will hold its final meeting of the season here Wednesday at 8 p.m. in the International Room. New members and guests are welcome.

- additional reporting by Bill Tallon