08/04/2003 12:00AM

Sam-Son tag team to face Wando


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Wando stands front and center heading into Saturday's $500,000 Breeders' Stakes, where he will be looking to cap his sweep of the Canadian Triple Crown and earn the $500,000 bonus that would accompany such a feat.

But owners Sam-Son Farm and trainer Mark Frostad aren't about to concede victory to Wando in the 1 1/2-mile turf race and will triple-team him with Parasail, Shoal Water, and Colorful Judgement.

While the three will race as separate betting interests, as is the rule here in stakes races, some unofficial "entry" strategy would not seem to be out of the question.

Parasail, a promising but very lightly raced gelding, has won both of his starts in front-running fashion, at six furlongs on dirt here June 12 and at a mile on grass here July 6.

In his final Breeders' tune-up, Parasail worked five furlongs over a good training track in 1:01.40 Sunday, going in company with older multiple-stakes-winning stablemate Strut the Stage.

Shoal Water, fourth behind Wando in just his second start of the year here in the 1 1/4-mile Queen's Plate, took a couple of runs at the front-running favorite in Fort Erie's 1 3/16-mile Prince of Wales before settling for third.

With Parasail likely to take over on the front end, Shoal Water should be able to assume a better tactical position in the early going.

Colorful Judgement, meanwhile, figures to be laying farther back and looking to mount a late rally.

Also lightly raced, with just three starts, Colorful Judgement won his maiden in a first-level allowance race at 1 1/16 miles on turf here June 15. He then finished third at the same condition at 1 3/8 miles on grass, the longest race in which any Breeders' contestant has competed.

Others eyeing the Breeders' are Arco's Gold, who exits a second-place finish to Wando in the Prince of Wales, and Ballerina's Halo, a maiden who has yet to finish in the top three in seven starts.

The field for the 113th running of the Breeders' will be announced Wednesday at a ceremonial draw.

Wake at Noon takes to route idea

Wake at Noon, Canada's Horse of the Year and champion sprinter last year, confirmed that he's added a new dimension to his game at age 6 when winning the 1 1/16-mile Seagram Cup here Sunday.

The Seagram was the second straight two-turn stakes score for Wake at Noon, who had captured the 1 1/16-mile Izvestia two weeks earlier.

Abraham Katryan, who trains Wake at Noon for owner-breeder Bruno Schickedanz, said the horse had done nothing but walk for five days after the Izvestia and he had not planned to run him back in the Seagram.

"Any horse that goes a mile and a sixteenth first time, from a sprint, it can knock them out second time," Katryan said. "I thought it would be tough for him to repeat that so quick."

Katryan did not decide to enter Wake at Noon in the Seagram until entries were due last Thursday.

Wake at Noon now has won 13 career stakes races, all here at Woodbine, at distances ranging from five furlongs to 1 1/16 miles, and boosted his earnings to $1,516,475.

With no suitable main-track opportunities looming here in the near future, Wake at Noon may test his newfound versatility by taking another crack at turf, a surface on which he's finished unplaced in two outings.

Chopinina scores in stakes

Chopinina also was a champion last year, taking down honors in the filly-mare turf division.

But Chopinina was without a stakes win, having earned her Sovereign Award mainly on the strength of a second-place finish versus males here in the Grade 1, $1 million Atto Mile.

The situation was rectified when Chopinina, trained by Alec Fehr for the Knob Hill Stable of Steve Stavro, impressively won the Grade 3 Royal North at six furlongs on turf here last Saturday.

Chopinina was making her third start of the year in the Royal North, having finished second, beaten a half-length at 1 1/16 miles on turf in the Grade 2 Nassau, and sixth in the Grade 3 Dance Smartly.

Fehr admitted he had some concern over racing Chopinina at six furlongs, the shortest distance she has run in her career.

"You always worry about the cutback in distance like that," he said. "She'd proved she could run in 1:08 and change when going a mile on the turf, but it's different when you're pressed on the pace at six furlongs.

"But I thought she'd be fine if she could sit off horses a little bit, like she did. Compared to last year, she's a very relaxed horse."

Besides the obvious financial reward, the Royal North was an important occasion for Chopinina.

"We had to get that stakes win out of the way," Fehr said. "And this was a good race to go into, to use it as a prep for the Atto Mile."

The Atto Mile will be run this year on Sept. 14.

"That's perfect for her," Fehr said. "She runs very well fresh. She doesn't need to run often, as long as she runs like this."

Chopinina's Royal North win brought her career earnings to $583,636.

Royal Dalliance, half-million the hard way

Royal Dalliance also passed the half-million earnings mark here Saturday, with her win in the 1 1/16-mile Belle Mahone bringing her total to $505,927. And Royal Dalliance has worked hard to reach that milestone, having started 45 times.

Royal Dalliance, a 6-year-old Joanna Iglar-Hughes trains for her husband, Dave Hughes, and his partner John Godwin, had become a stakes winner two starts back in Fort Erie's Harry A. Hindmarsh.