09/06/2004 12:00AM

Strut the Stage repeats in Niagara

Michael Burns Photo
Strut the Stage with Todd Kabel riding wins the Grade 2, $324,000 Niagara Breeders' Cup Handicap at Woodbine.

Strut the Stage ($2.50) and jockey Todd Kabel won the Grade 2, $324,000 for the second year in a row at Woodbine on Monday.

Strut the Stage trailed the six-horse field on the backstretch of the 1 1/2-mile turf race, as his stablemate Longship set moderate fractions.

Strut the Stage loomed into contention on the far turn, and began to draw off after hitting the front nearing the quarter pole. He went on to prevail by four lengths, in a final time of 2:25.87, just .27 seconds off the course record.

It was the third consecutive Niagara victory for owner Sam-Son Farm and trainer Mark Frostad, who also sent out the runner-up, Colorful Judgment. Mark One finished a retreating third.

Wholelottabourbon ($3) captured Monday's supporting feature, the $106,000 Silver Deputy Stakes for 2-year-olds, by a length over The Finagler. With Francine Villeneuve aboard, Wholelottabourbon covered 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:18.14.