07/22/2004 11:00PM

Sprint favors Dressed for Action


FORT ERIE, Ontario - Dressed for Action, idle since winning the $77,000 Adena Springs Matchmaker here June 13, will likely go as the co-favorite with another 4-year-old, Miss Crissy, in Sunday's $125,000 Rainbow Connection for Ontario-sired fillies and mares.

After the $500,000 Prince of Wales and the $250,000 Labatt Bison City, the Rainbow Connection has the third-highest purse of the 24 stakes on Fort Erie's calendar.

Like the Matchmaker, the Rainbow Connection will be run over five furlongs of grass. The distance should favor Dressed for Action, who sports a record of 2 wins and 1 second-place finish in her 4 turf outings. She has overall earnings of $337,820. Dressed for Action won the $166,000 Ontario Damsel at Woodbine last year on June 29, leading wire to wire. A nose behind at the finish of that 6 1/2-furlong turf race was Miss Crissy.

Miss Crissy has not run worse than third in her six grass attempts, winning the one-mile La Prevoyante at Woodbine on Sept. 13, and placing twice. She has earned $444,727.

Trainer Tony Mattine will once again use Ray Sabourin aboard Dressed for Action, and Mike Keogh has named Richard Dos Ramos to ride Miss Crissy.

The race has drawn a field of nine. Should it come off the grass, Spanish Decree and Regal 'n Bold will garner increased support.

Break the key for Rare Friends

The supporting feature Sunday is the $40,000 Parnitha, an in-house stakes restricted to runners with three 2004 starts at the meet. There's an extra $20,000 allotted to Canadian-breds for the five-furlong turf race.

Heading the cast of eight for the Parnitha is Rare Friends, the Canadian champion 2-year-old in 2001. Rare Friends will be making his fourth Fort Erie start this year. He won his first by six lengths, and ran second in the next two.

In the $60,000 Niagara Falls here June 27, Rare Friends broke poorly and finished 3 1/2 lengths behind the winner, Lucky Tec.

"[Rare Friends] is in good order," said Bob Tiller, Woodbine's leading trainer. "If he breaks better, he will be right there."

Rare Friends worked five furlongs in 59 seconds at Woodbine July 16. It was the fastest of 39 works at the distance.

Lucky Tec will try for his third stakes win of the meet in the Parnitha. Trainer Daryl Ezra is confident his charge can do it.

"We beat Rare Friends at six furlongs," said Ezra. "And I think we have a better shot at beating him at five furlongs than at six. Will Rare Friends come back? He's a good horse, but obviously not the same horse. If he was, we could never have beat him."

Reverse Psychology is the only horse in the race who has won on the grass. Marilyn McMullen trains Reverse Psychology, who was claimed for $16,000 at Tampa Bay Feb. 14 and has not won in four subsequent starts.