09/01/2005 11:00PM

Sales stakes offer a shot at serious money

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Michael Burns Photo Ltd.
U R Flashy, winning the Nandi, may be vulnerable going seven furlongs.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario - The six $125,000 yearling sales stakes to be run Sunday at Woodbine have often been races in which small-time owners and trainers have taken a shot and were able to come away with a lucrative prize.

Numerous low-priced yearling purchases, such as My Vintage Port, Barbeau Ruckus, Smiles With a Fist, and Orderofexcellence, have been victorious in these races. Owner-trainer Clyde Gholson is hoping to join the list when he sends out Grey Mirage in the seven-furlong Simcoe, for male 2-year-olds.

Grey Mirage, who graduated his second time out against $62,500 maidens Aug. 19, will likely be a longshot in the Simcoe. He lugged in badly in his maiden win, but Gholson said he has since made some changes to try and correct the problem, including some dental work and a change of bits.

"I think he'll move up a little off of that last race," said Gholson. "He's in such good order right now, and I'll be disappointed if he doesn't run well. I don't think he can beat Edenwold, but I think he can be competitive with the others."

Edenwold, trained by Josie Carroll, is the leader of the 2-year-old division at Woodbine. He captured the Colin and Vandal Stakes in his last two starts.

My Vintage Port graduated in the 2003 Muskoka, and maidens could dominate this year's renewal of the seven-furlong race for 2-year-old fillies.

U R Flashy defeated maidens To the Brim and Bajan Princess going six furlongs in the Aug. 6 Nandi Stakes, but the result could be different when they all meet again Sunday. U R Flashy is a rapid filly who could have distance limitations. She seems vulnerable at seven furlongs, unless the track favors speed.

Trainer Steve Attard said the Muskoka has been on Bajan Princess's agenda since the beginning of the year.

"I think the farther the better for her," Attard said. "Her full brother Arch Hall won a stakes last year going a mile and a sixteenth."

Attard also entered another maiden in the Muskoka, Sweet Breanna, who ran fourth going five furlongs in her recent debut.

"Five-eighths was way too short for her," Attard said. "She really came running down the stretch. I wanted to get one race into her before this stakes. She wants to run all day, too."

The six-furlong Kenora features arch rivals Mister Coop and Barbeau Ruckus, who were both cross-entered in the Elgin Stakes, a race Barbeau Ruckus won in 2004.

Mister Coop beat Barbeau Ruckus at six furlongs in the May 14 New Providence Stakes, but the tables were turned going long June 11, in the Steady Growth Stakes, when Barbeau Ruckus scored by a neck.

Talented 3-year-olds Dave the Knave and Quick in Deed are also in the Kenora lineup.

The unbeaten Ever So Free will make his stakes debut in 1 1/16-mile Elgin. He won both of his starts impressively in July, while earning Beyer Speed Figures in the low 90's, and has been working bullets for trainer Abraham Katryan.

Ablo, this year's Prince of Wales Stakes winner, is another Elgin contender.