11/27/2007 1:00AM

South Ocean also-rans appear best

EmailETOBICOKE, Ontario - Fillies coming out of the $127,000 South Ocean Stakes could dominate Thursday's ninth race at Woodbine, a 1 1/16-mile maiden special for Ontario-sired 2-year-old fillies.

Critical Path has been improving and should be a major player, even though she drew the outside post in the nine-horse field.

After running third and fourth in two sprints for Ontario-sired stock, Critical Path wound up second behind a late-charging Esson Lake in an open maiden special weight route on Oct. 27.

Most recently, in the slow-paced South Ocean, a two-turn race for Ontario-sired 2-year-old fillies, Critical Path rallied along the inside to miss third by a nose. She was just a 1 3/4 lengths behind the victorious Krz Exec.

Slade Callaghan retains the mount on Critical Path for trainer Mike Doyle, a combination that is 8 for 91 at the meeting.

Do It Anyway finished sixth in the South Ocean after vying for the lead during most of the stretch run. She was a wide-closing third in her debut in the restricted Nandi Stakes in August, and was good enough to finish fourth behind future Keeneland stakes winner Wind in My Wings in a Sept. 21 maiden race on grass.

Emma Wilson will ride Do It Anyway for trainer Nick Gonzalez, who's nearing the end of a career year.

Nofunathome rallied wide for fifth in the South Ocean, finishing just 2 1/4 lengths in arrears. She was previously second in Krz Exec's maiden victory, and before that finished second in a pair of maiden claimers.

First Priority was seventh in the South Ocean after ending up fourth in Krz Exec's maiden win. Meet-leading rider Patrick Husbands has the mount for the first time.

Late-runner Love N Lust got up for a top-three placing in two consecutive Ontario-sired maiden routes this fall. She has drawn post 2, with Chantal Sutherland riding for trainer Dave Cotey.

There are four other maiden races on the 10-race card, including the opener, a maiden special weight route in which Glengarra and Valentine Touch will be well-backed.

Glengarra was a lapped-on second in each of her two most recent starts. Her hanging tendencies make her an unreliable win play.

Valentine Touch has been idle since running fourth behind Glengarra on the turf Sept. 22.