07/20/2003 12:00AM

Strut the Stage overhauls Perfect Soul


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Strut the Stage overhauled even-money favorite Perfect Soul at the sixteenth pole before edging away for a length and half score in the $330,900 Chinese Cultural Center Stakes at Woodbine Sunday.

Strut the Stage ($6.10) raced three and a half lengths off an honest pace set by his stablemate, Angel On the Wing, in the mile and three-eighth turf event. Perfect Soul joined Angel On the Wing on the lead on the far turn, as Strut the Stage loomed into serious contention under Todd Kabel.

Perfect Soul took control early in the stretch, and gave way grudgingly to Strut the Stage, who ran the distance in 2:13.84 over a firm course. Angel On the Wing held off another Sam-Son runner, Portcullis, to finish third in the eight-horse field.

"He's a tremendous little horse," Kabel boasted, noting that Strut the Stage was making his second start off a long layoff. "He beat a good horse today, and he'll only get better from here on in."

Strut the Stage earned $198,540 for Sam-Son Farm and trainer Mark Frostad, who have won the three of the six runnings of this Grade 2 fixture.

* Wake At Noon ($10.90) led throughout Sunday's supporting feature, the $106,000 Izvestia Stakes. Wake At Noon, the 2002 Canadian Horse of the Year, covered a mile and a sixteenth in 1:44.08 under Emile Ramsammy.