07/19/2005 11:00PM

Three stakes winners face off


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Stakes winners Expect an Angel, Hatpin, and Black Rock Road clash on the grass in Friday's Woodbine feature, a seven-furlong event for $80,000 optional claimers.

Expect an Angel, 5, captured the Grade 3 Chaposa Springs Handicap as a 39-1 outsider last December at Calder. She went on to have a busy winter campaign at Gulfstream, winning a $16,000 starter allowance and finishing fifth in three graded stakes.

Expect an Angel was shipped here in the spring to trainer Mike Doyle, and she finished sixth for him in the Hendrie Handicap May 15. Two weeks later, she was second in an $80,000 contest won by Fifth Overture, who came back to take the Sweet Briar Too Stakes, a race in which Expect an Angel ran third after a slow start.

Expect an Angel was seventh at Gulfstream the only time she tried the grass, in a second-level allowance in March 2004. James McKnight retains the mount.

Hatpin, one of two 3-year-olds in the six-horse field, is meeting older females for the first time. She ran third in the Star Shoot Stakes in April before winning a May 15 allowance. Most recently, Hatpin made her first turf attempt in the 6 1/2-furlong Alywow Stakes and prevailed by nearly four lengths after attending the pace, earning a 92 Beyer Speed Figure.

Robert Landry will ride Hatpin for trainer Mark Frostad, a combo that is 3 for 6, with 2 seconds and 1 third, at the meeting.

Black Rock Road is a grass specialist trained by David Bell. She had a brief but productive 2004 campaign, winning her first three outings, including a one-mile allowance. Black Rock Road won her stakes debut by 2 1/2 lengths here Oct. 9 in the Carotene, earning a 91 Beyer. She has been absent since finishing sixth in the Grade 2 Mrs. Revere Stakes in November at Churchill, where she was bet down to 3-1 in her first try with blinkers.

Black Rock Road will shed the blinkers Friday and has been working regularly over the turf training course. Todd Kabel has the call.

Miss Venturous is also in the lineup. She finished third after setting the fractions in her first turf attempt in the Alywow, and recently faded to sixth in the allowance prep for the Grade 3 Royal North Handicap.