08/07/2001 11:00PM

Stardom eludes Strike Smartly


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Strike Smartly has yet to run to his regal breeding, and he probably never will, but he has evolved into a useful turf runner this year and should be favored in Friday's Woodbine feature, an $80,000 optional claimer on the grass.

Strike Smartly, a son of the legendary Mr. Prospector, is a full brother to Dance Smartly - Canada's horse of the year in 1991 - and Grade 1 winner Smart Strike. Dance Smartly won the '91 Plate and has produced two Plate winners, Scatter the Gold and Dancethruthedawn.

Strike Smartly was prominent on last year's Plate trail. He won an allowance race here in the spring before ending up a well-beaten fifth in the Plate Trial Stakes. He was given the rest of the year off after finishing nearly 20 lengths back in the Plate itself.

Strike Smartly won his first start on the grass when he returned from a one-year layoff in a $62,500 optional claimer June 16. He rallied four wide in that 1 1/16-mile race to prevail by a half-length, earning a 90 Beyer Speed Figure

Most recently in a one-mile turf race at this level, Strike Smartly came from 7 1/2 lengths back to finish third behind Hard Currency and Love Shuffle. Left in his wake was the classy Fastasaspeednbulit.

Strike Smartly should be ready for a peak race in his third start on the comeback trail. Todd Kabel retains the mount for Sam-Son Farm and trainer Mark Frostad.

Completing the field for the 1 1/8-mile headliner will be Gold Star Deputy with Gary Boulanger aboard; Sun Tzu, Mickey Walls; Hoptuit Bud, Emile Ramsammy; Classic Result, Patrick Husbands; Apalachian Chief, Richard Dos Ramos; Prory, James McKnight; and Parisianprospector, Daniel David.

Parose was entered for the main track only.

Sun Tzu should garner some attention on account of his recent runner-up finish on turf to unbeaten Numerous Times, who subsequently won the allowance prep for the Grade 3 Play the King Handicap.

Sun Tzu, a 5-year-old full brother to millionaire Kiridashi, didn't win his maiden until his final 2000 outing. He captured two of his first three starts on the main track this year for trainer Barbara Minshall, but then went into a two-race slump before switching to the grass for his last outing.

Hoptuit Bud won a July 20 race at this level while running back just six days after a close fifth-place finish in a $62,500 optional claimer.

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