09/01/2007 12:00AM

Silver Strip owns three-race streak on turf


FORT ERIE, Ontario - The $25,000 Puss N Boots Cup and the $25,000 Labatt Cup head the card on the Labor Day Monday program at the Fort.

Ten runners are scheduled to go to post for the Puss N Boots at 1 1/16 miles on the turf, with another on the also-eligible list, and with two entries in the main body of the field there will be eight betting interests.

Front and center for a dip in the lake - the traditional celebration for the race's winning jockey - will be rider David Piques, who has been aboard Silver Strip for three straight turf wins, two at the Fort and the latest over Woodbine's E.P. Taylor course.

Brian Ross saddles Silver Strip for owner Reno Disalvo.

Logical contenders include trainer Marilyn McMullen's entry of Tyler's Jewel and Touch of Quality. McMullen's husband, Mike, was named on both horses at time of entry.

The sleeper in this field is Frezacon, Steve Bahen aboard, who recently tied the track record here going 6 1/2 furlongs on the dirt. He is the speed of the party but failed to last in his only other turf effort.

The tradition of the race's winning jockey taking a flying leap into the track's infield lake, sometimes accompanied by the winning trainer, stems from a race in 1961 when the 2-year-old colt Puss N Boots dropped his rider, Ronnie Behrens, then left the turf course and deposited himself in the water.

Labatt: Simon entry tops full field

The Labatt Cup, which precedes the Puss N Boots, also is run at 1 1/16 miles on the turf course but is for fillies and mares.

While 12 horses were entered, only 10 runners will go to post, and the main body of the field includes trainer Lynn Simon's entry of Ludmila and Whimsical Memory.

Simon, who has been having a bang-up year at the Fort, named jockey Daniel David on both horses.

Ludmila won her most recent over this surface with David in the irons, and in five races on the turf this year she has missed the board only once.

Ladyinblue has a solid turf record and is a threat to steal this affair as she comes out of a number of sprint races on both surfaces and has shown good speed when routing.

Trainer John Simms retains the leading rider at the Fort, Robert King Jr., on Ladyinblue, a 5-year-old who is owned by Dixieland Stables.

Marden Hill, owned by the Bell Farm, is a very consistent closer on the turf and should be making a run at the leaders through the stretch. Piques will ride Marden Hill for trainer Brian Ross.