08/07/2003 12:00AM

Sea Way Lady puts Mustoe on map


FORT ERIE, Ontario - Until this year, Cindy Mustoe has largely gone unnoticed here as a trainer. Last year, she scored just one win from her 24 starters.

This year, however, she has been in the spotlight due to the exploits of her stable star, Sea Way Lady, a winner of her last four races.

Sea Way Lady, a 5-year-old mare, has lost just once this year, when she broke poorly in her season opener and finished out of the money.

Mustoe has two other wins this season, the latest coming with You Leader ($10.50) in an allowance race for nonwinners-of-two here July 29. From her 21 starts, Mustoe sports a strong win percentage of 29.

The 41-year-old trainer wouldn't be surprised if her next winner turns out to be Somewhat Gray, a 3-year-old maiden filly she claimed for $5,000 on July 6.

"I ran her once [for $9,000 on July 22] just to get a gauge on her," said Mustoe, who was born in England and arrived in Canada as a 12-year-old. "I'm dropping her back down, and she'll run good. She's been training like a bear."

Mustoe took riding lessons and rode in her native country. She joined a riding club here on arrival and eventually got to the Fort Erie track through a government job-placement program when she was 20.

She worked for a trainer for a year as a groom and exercise rider and then went on her own as a free-lance galloper while also supplying a pony service. She shifted to Thistledown and, by 1989, obtained a trainer's license there.

"I went on my own in 1991," Mustoe said, "but didn't have many winners. I always only had one or two horses."

In 1993 she returned to Fort Erie but packed it in when her two runners, a maiden and a nonwinner-of-two, didn't produce. Five years later, she was back again.

In 2001, her horse In a Tux, a modest buy, won two straight. "He was never off the board that year," Mustoe said. "He made over $30,000 for me."

Mustoe's prominence also stems from her hookup this year with owner Leo Loney, who transferred three runners to the barn in January. Mustoe now has seven horses under her care.

'Personalitee' to run on Labor Day

Lil Personalitee, who dropped a nose decision to Barbeau Ruckus in the Cool Reception Stakes on Monday's holiday program, will make his next start in the Puss N Boots Stakes here on Labor Day, Sept. 1. The 1 1/16-mile contest is scheduled for the turf course.

"He won on the grass at Fair Grounds," trainer Myckie Neubauer said. "Their turf course is seven-eighths, like ours.

"He didn't win on the turf at Woodbine, but he ran some decent races there. And if the race comes off the grass, it won't matter."

Go Figure, who finished fourth for Neubauer in last year's Puss N Boots, is being pointed for the Peninsula Stakes here Aug. 24.

The Peninsula, a seven-furlong turf race, is also on the calendar for former Canadian champion sprinter Mr. Epperson.

"He isn't what he used to be, but he's running all right now," said trainer Scott Fairlie.

* Right Stop, who finished third in the Cool Reception after dueling throughout with Lil Personalitee, will make his next start Sept. 6 at Finger Lakes. "That will give him a month off," owner Mike Barkowski said. "He'll go in the Wadsworth Memorial Handicap," a $35,000 race at 1 1/8 miles.