10/20/2005 12:00AM

'Sugar' moves up to stakes


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Stronach Stable and trainer Bobby Frankel will be looking to kick off Canadian International weekend in a big way at Woodbine on Saturday, when they run Sugar Swirl in the $250,000 Princess Elizabeth Stakes, a 1 1/16-mile test for 2-year-old fillies.

Sugar Swirl closed along the inside after getting away slowly and finished third in her debut in a six-furlong maiden special Aug. 27. With the addition of Lasix, she graduated at seven furlongs in her next appearance Sept. 24.

Assistant trainer Brian Lynch said he was pleased with both of Sugar Swirl's performances.

"She drew the inside in her first race, and we just let her break and get some experience," Lynch said. "She seemed to be closing nicely and ran a game third. She trained on well after that, and we were very confident that she was going to run a good one in her second race. It was a bonus for her to win."

Sugar Swirl is bred to run long on both sides of her pedigree, and Lynch said he believes she has the necessary tools to handle a route of ground.

"I think she'll relax nicely," Lynch said. "In her second race, we sort of left her alone the first part, and she has happy to sit [off the leaders] before coming with her run around the turn and down the lane."

The only other winner in the nine-horse field of Canadian-breds is Silent Course, who won her maiden in the Sept. 4 Muskoka, a seven-furlong stakes for graduates of local yearling sales.

Silent Course was beaten 30 lengths in her lone subsequent outing, in the Grade 3 Mazarine BC Stakes at 1 1/16 miles Oct. 1. Trainer Dave Cotey said she still has to prove herself around two turns, but he anticipates a much better effort from her Saturday.

"Her shins were stinging her a little last time," Cotey said. "They seem to be a lot better now."

The Niagara Queen finished fifth when experimenting on the grass Sept. 11, in the Grade 3 Natalma Stakes.

"She could have been closer in there with a better trip," said trainer Mike Keogh. "In the long run, I think she's going to be a turf filly, but she's got such a lovely, big stride, and I don't think she'll have a problem getting the trip."

Trainer Steve Attard is running Sweet Breanna, the fourth-place finisher in the Muskoka, and Bajan Princess, who is coming off a narrow loss in a seven-furlong maiden special.