07/16/2003 11:00PM

Sprint stars go - separately


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Soaring Free, the top sprinter in the country, and Wake at Noon, last year's champion sprinter and Canadian Horse of the Year, were both entered Saturday at Woodbine, but in different stakes races.

Soaring Free will be heavily favored in the $107,000 Ontario Jockey Club Stakes, a seven-furlong turf race for Canadian-breds. Wake at Noon will face last year's champion 2-year-old, Added Edge, in the $138,500 Bold Venture Handicap, at 6 1/2 furlongs. Added Edge will be making his first start since January.

Soaring Free, owned by Sam-Son Farm, was a competent but underachieving allowance runner last year at 3, but he has won all three of his starts since being gelded last winter.

Soaring Free earned a 110 Beyer Speed Figure when he won the allowance prep for the Nearctic Handicap, which was taken off the grass and run in the slop. He notched his first stakes win with ease in the Grade 2 Nearctic in his grass debut.

Hugh Chatman, assistant to trainer Mark Frostad, said Soaring Free's Nearctic effort exceeded his expectations.

"We thought he'd run big, but we didn't think he'd run that big," Chatman said. "It was a tough race. I think he's probably a bit better on the turf."

Rounding out the OJC Stakes lineup are: Dawn Watcher, Krz Ruckus, Steady Ruckus, Le Cinquieme Essai, Mister Coop, and Numerous Times, winner of the 2001 Atto Mile.

Krz Ruckus and Mister Coop were also entered in Saturday's Bold Venture.

Wake at Noon won the Grade 3 Vigil Handicap here in April and then finished eighth in the Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap at Belmont. He recently finished fourth as the favorite here in a classified allowance race.

Trainer Abraham Katryan said he anticipates an improved performance from Wake at Noon on Saturday.

"He's in good shape," Katryan stressed. "He was a little flat last time. He does that to me every time after I take him across the border."

Added Edge was a Sovereign finalist for Horse of the Year honors in 2002, when he won all four of his starts.

Added Edge trailed the field as the favorite in his only start this year Jan. 18, in the Grade 3 Holy Bull Stakes at Gulfstream. According to trainer Mark Casse, Added Edge came out of the race with a small knee chip, which didn't require surgery.