10/10/2002 11:00PM

Santerra gets two-turn opportunity


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Trainer Mike Mattine has been waiting all year to run Santerra around two turns, and will finally get the opportunity in Sunday's $250,000 Princess Elizabeth Stakes at Woodbine.

A field of eight was drawn for the 1 1/16-mile race, which is the definitive test for Canadian-bred 2-year-old fillies.

Santerra raced in shorter sprints in her first two starts, a fourth-place finish in the Shady Well Stakes, and a third in the six-furlong Nandi Stakes. She won her maiden in style last time on Sept. 2 in the Muskoka Stakes, a seven-furlong race for graduates of local yearling sales.

"We've always thought she'd be a better horse going two turns," Mattine said. "She has no speed, and those five-and-a-half and six-furlong races were too short for her. She's been galloping two miles a day, and you can't hold her. She worked three-quarters in 1:12.80 the other day."

Todd Kabel will ride Santerra, an attractive daughter of Tejabo, a stamina influence.

Rounding out the Princess Elizabeth field will be Promenade Road, Asmokeafterdinner, Kabeeb, Speak Out, Arch of Triumph, Mountain Dawn, and Clair de Lune.

Mountain Dawn will be well supported in the wagering under jockey Na Somsanith. She was beaten a head by Appleby Gardens when second in the Shady Well, and was fourth as the favorite in the Muskoka, a flat effort trainer Mac Benson attributed to her missing a key workout before the race.

Most recently in the Grade 2 Mazarine Stakes, a 1 1/16-mile race, Mountain Dawn saved ground en route to a third-place finish behind Brusque and Handpainted, probably the two best Woodbine-based juvenile fillies this year.

Benson said Mountain Dawn, a daughter of Mountain Cat and stakes winner Early Blaze, has been a handful to train.

"She's a nasty, sour filly," Benson said. "You can't fight her, and you can't ask her to do anything without the pony there to coax her along. We've fooled around with her, and she's done really well by us. We've been tickled to death with her."

Roger Attfield trains the three-horse entry of Clair de Lune, Kabeeb, and Speak Out.

Clair de Lune won her maiden by nearly five lengths when she stretched out to a route for the first time on Sept. 26. Kabeeb was a fading fifth in the same race, after running third in the Muskoka. Speak Out is coming off a third-place finish in a six-furlong allowance race.

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