06/30/2004 11:00PM

Taking show on the road


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - The Labatt Bison City Stakes will be run at Fort Erie Sunday, but Woodbine will be supplying almost all of the raw material for the $250,000 feature.

Five of the six entrants in the 1 1/16-mile Bison City, which is the second leg of Canada's triple tiara, are based at Woodbine, as are all six riders.

That sextet includes Todd Kabel, Jono Jones, and Jim McAleney, who ranked one-two-three in the standings here heading into Thursday's program. Patrick Husbands, Gerry Olguin, and Richard Dos Ramos will also ride in the race.

Kabel will be aboard odds-on choice Eye of the Sphynx, who is undefeated in four starts and was an emphatic winner of the first leg of the tiara, the $500,000 Labatt Woodbine Oaks, for Sam-Son Farm and trainer Mark Frostad.

Jones retains the mount on My Vintage Port, Canada's champion 2-year-old filly last year but a well-beaten third in the Oaks.

My Vintage Port is trained by Ken Parsley, who also is a co-owner along with Rick Pettifer.

McAleney will ride Silky Tresses, one of three fillies in the field trained by Reade Baker, who also will send out Touchnow and On Account of Me.

Silky Tresses, a maiden owned by Jim Hindman, was given the green light for the Bison City after breezing two furlongs in 24 seconds on the main track here Thursday morning.

"We scoped her after, and she scoped perfectly clean," said Baker. "She had some mucus the other day, and I wanted to check on her."

Touchnow, owned by George Farr, was second as the 29-1 outsider in the Woodbine Oaks, beaten 4 1/4 lengths by Eye of the Sphynx but finishing nine lengths ahead of My Vintage Port. Husbands rode her for the first time that day and will be back aboard Sunday.

Olguin, who was riding On Account of Me for the first time when the filly registered a front-running maiden win over 1 1/16 miles here June 10, again gets the call.

On Account of Me races for the No. 1 Stable of Anne, Ron, and Lesley Shaddock, owners of 1995 Queen's Plate winner Regal Discovery.

Dos Ramos has picked up the mount on Vividly, the only Bison City entrant who does not fit the Woodbine mold.

Owned by Stronach Stable, Vividly began her career at Gulfstream last winter, winning her second start on March 19 when stretching out to 1 1/16 miles for trainer Todd Pletcher.

After losing in a second-level allowance at Belmont in her next outing May 14, Vividly dropped out of sight until Tuesday, when she breezed four furlongs at Fort Erie in 47.60 in preparation for the Bison City.

Vividly had been training at Adena Springs North in nearby Aurora, Ontario. Her overseer there, farm trainer Sean Smullen, will be the trainer of record for the Bison City.

My Vintage Port is scheduled to ship to Fort Erie on Saturday, with the other Woodbine invaders heading down Sunday morning.

Equal weights for Bison City

The Bison City sports a new wrinkle this year. It will be run as a scale-weight race for the first time, with all contestants carrying 121 pounds.

The $250,000 Wonder Where, the 1 1/4-mile turf race that wraps up the tiara series here Aug. 1, also will be shifted to scale weights.

There is a $350,000 bonus available for a filly who sweeps the series.

Ontheqt, Spanish Decree top Wells

Woodbine regulars also will be front and center in Sunday's $100,000 Daryl Wells Sr. Memorial, the supporting feature on the Fort Erie card, which attracted a field of six.

Heading the Wells Memorial, a six-furlong race for Canadian-bred fillies and mares, will be Ontheqt and Spanish Decree, both stakes winners based here.

McAleney rides Ontheqt, while Jones has picked up the mount on Spanish Decree.

Kabel has the call on Tamara, another Woodbine shipper.

Brass in Pocket repeats in Ballade

Brass in Pocket ($6) won the Ballade Stakes for the second year in a row here Wednesday night, taking the six-furlong sprint for Ontario-sired fillies and mares in a gutsy display.

Brass in Pocket broke a bit slowly from the inside under Todd Kabel before rushing up to duel with 1-2 favorite Blonde Executive through fractions of 21.98 and 44.31.

Brass in Pocket put away Blonde Executive at the head of the stretch, and then held a stalking Regal 'n Bold at bay throughout the stretch to prevail by 1 3/4 lengths.

Boldest of All caught Blonde Executive in deep stretch to finish another 4 3/4 lengths back in third in the five-horse field. The final time was 1:09.08.

"She's a wonderful, classy mare," said Bob Tiller, who trains Brass in Pocket for owner Frank DiGiulio Jr.

"She was carrying 126 pounds. It was a speed track tonight, so we changed the game plan and figured that we might as well go with [Blonde Executive]."

Brass in Pocket earned $76,725 of the $127,875 purse, which boosted her bankroll to $881,665.

The stakes win was the eighth of the meeting for Kabel and the fifth for Tiller, who are the Woodbine leaders in that department.

Bold Venture prospects work out

Chris's Bad Boy and I'm the Tiger, two of the leading candidates for the $125,000 Bold Venture here July 11, both worked five furlongs on the fast main track Thursday morning.

I'm the Tiger, owned by Stronach Stable and trained by Danny Vella, was clocked in 59.20, the fastest of 22 moves at the distance.

Chris's Bad Boy, owned by Alpine Stable and trained by Vito Armata, went in 1:00.80, breezing.

The Bold Venture is a 6 1/2-furlong handicap for 3-year-olds and upward.

- additional reporting by Ron Gierkink

The field

Bison City Stakes
Purse: $250,000; Distance: 1 1/16 Miles

1TouchnowP. Husbands9-2
2Eye of the SphynxT. Kabel2-5
3On Account Of MeG. Olguin8-1
4Silky TressesJ. McAleney20-1
5My Vintage PortJ. Jones6-1
6VividlyR. Dos Ramos15-1

* All starters carry 121 pounds
* Odds by Bill Tallon
* Television: The Score, post time 4:30 p.m. Eastern