11/20/2003 1:00AM

Record may be beyond Kabel's reach


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - The clock is ticking for jockey Todd Kabel, who is hoping to break the Ontario record for the most stakes winners in a season.

Kabel, who tops the Woodbine standings in both races and money won, has won 29 stakes here heading into the next-to-last weekend of the meeting. There are five stakes races remaining, and Kabel should be represented in each one.

The Ontario record, 32 stakes wins, was set by the late Avelino Gomez in 1966.

To put that feat in perspective, there were just 72 stakes races run on the former Ontario Jockey Club circuit of Woodbine, Greenwood, and Fort Erie in 1966.

By the end of this meeting, 119 stakes will have been contested at Woodbine. Kabel did not have a mount this year at Fort Erie.

But in comparing records of different eras, there are other factors to consider. It could be argued, for example, that the competition runs deeper these days, in both the jockeys' room and on the racetrack itself.

Kabel would seem to have his work cut out for him here in Saturday's Sir Barton where his mount, Cibo, will be an outsider.

Cibo has won three races this year at the Sir Barton's 1 1/16-mile distance, but those successes came in a $20,000 maiden claiming race here and under first-level and second-level allowance terms at Fort Erie.

Kabel's only previous ride aboard Cibo was the maiden win.

Sunday, Kabel's stakes mount will be Duet, in the $160,950 Ontario Lassie for Canadian-bred 2-year-old fillies.

Duet will be stretching out to 1 1/16 miles following a second-place finish in the seven-furlong Glorious Song, where she made an eye-catching move while wide going into the far turn.

Kabel will be riding Duet for the first time and the filly, trained by Mike Mattine, should go off as the second choice behind the promising Six Sexy Sisters.

Next Saturday, in the $125,000 Kennedy Road, Kabel will be looking for his fourth stakes win of the year with Forever Grand, who is trained by Bob Tiller.

Forever Grand also won a stakes this year under jockey Patrick Husbands, who stands second to Kabel in Ontario's stakes-winning standings with 16 stakes scores here plus three at Fort Erie.

Forever Grand will be one of the favorites in the Kennedy Road, a six-furlong race for 3-year-olds and upward.

On closing day, Nov. 30, Kabel is scheduled to ride both ends of the stakes doubleheader.

Kabel will be reunited with Spider Canyon in the $125,000 Kingarvie, a 1 1/16-mile race for Ontario-sired 2-year-olds.

Spider Canyon, who finished fifth under Kabel in his 5 1/2-furlong debut here June 28, has raced on turf under jockey Richard Dos Ramos in four subsequent starts. Dos Ramos is scheduled to be at Hollywood Park on Nov. 30 to pilot Chopinina in the Grade 1, $500,000 Matriarch.

After winning his maiden over seven furlongs Aug. 17, Spider Canyon ran eighth in the Grade 2 Summer and fourth in the 1 1/16-mile Cup and Saucer, which was his first start with Lasix.

In the $125,000 Valedictory, a 1 3/4-mile race, Kabel has a solid prospect in Parose.

A 9-year-old gelding owned by John Atto and trained by Sandy McPherson, Parose would be making his third appearance in the Valedictory.

Parose, an Alberta-bred who was claimed for $62,500 by his current connections on the final day of the 2001 meeting, finished third in the 2000 Valedictory shortly after relocating from western Canada and was sixth in last year's running.

"I wasn't even going to nominate him this year," said McPherson, "but he's doing so well he'll probably run, as long as the track's not really bad.

"I'd like to see him go over $1 million here."

Parose has banked $958,986 through his 83-start career and is slated to be part of McPherson's annual winter contingent at Gulfstream Park.

Fifth stakes win for Brass in Pocket

Brass in Pocket ($3.70) won her fifth stakes of the year in front-running style Wednesday night in the Classy 'n Smart, a $130,750 stakes for Ontario-sired fillies and mares.

Brass in Pocket, who also captured the 2002 Classy 'n Smart on the lead, set uncontested fractions of 23.63 seconds, 47.51, and 1:11.87 in the 1 1/16-mile race. She began to draw off from a stalking Dancen in the Sun at the head of the stretch, and then coasted home on top by 1 3/4 lengths over a closing Roman Romance.

Dancen in the Sun was another nose back in third, while Royal Dalliance finished fourth in the seven-horse field. The final time was 1:45.98.

"She was perfect tonight," said David Clark, who rode Brass in Pocket. "She did everything right. She was on the lead very comfortably, and nobody challenged her."

Brass in Pocket, a Bob Tiller-trained 4-year-old, earned $78,450 for owner-breeder Frank DiGiulio Jr.

The stakes win was the 15th of the meeting for Tiller and the 12th for Clark.

- additional reporting by Ron Gierkink