08/28/2003 11:00PM

Too Late Now looks to bounce back


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Is Sunday's Seaway Stakes too much, too soon for Too Late Now?

Too Late Now, who finished 10th in the Ontario Colleen Stakes here last Sunday, is back in the entries one week later, slated to face nine opponents in the Seaway.

After trying turf for the first time in the one-mile Ontario Colleen, Too Late Now will be making her debut against older fillies and mares as one of two 3-year-olds in the seven-furlong Seaway.

Too Late Now, who began her career in April, won the Grade 1 Selene over 1 1/16 miles and the Labatt Woodbine Oaks at 1 1/8 miles while remaining undefeated in four starts in a little more than two months.

Too Late Now, who was bred by her trainer, Jim Day, then finished third in Fort Erie's 1 1/16-mile Bison City before heading to the farm to freshen up for a fall campaign.

Initially, Day had been considering either the Ontario Colleen or the Seaway for Too Late Now's return.

"It was an either/or situation," said Day, who trains Too Late Now for the Come By Chance Stable of his mother, Edna Arrow. "But we really wanted to get this turf thing somewhat settled, for better or worse. There are a lot of turf opportunities this fall.

"We knew it was an experiment going into this. If she wasn't a turf horse, there'd be no sense fussing about it. We'd be back to where we started."

Too Late Now was in contention for about the first six furlongs of the Colleen under her regular rider, Robert Landry, but then weakened badly through the final quarter-mile.

"She was right there at the head of the stretch," Day said. "But when the racing got serious, she didn't want to get low for the dough, and the jockey wasn't going to abuse her.

"We had visions of turf grandeur, but she didn't have the same view we had."

Day is not concerned about the relatively short span between starts for Too Late Now, as he believes her Colleen effort really was little more than the equivalent of a stiff workout, which the filly would have needed anyway.

While he is not particularly keen about having Too Late Now face her elders, Day sees the Seaway as a good fit for a revised fall schedule and believes the filly will be comfortable going seven furlongs.

Day noted that Too Late Now employed a stalking style when she won over five and six furlongs in her first two starts.

Saree works ahead of North American debut

Trainer Mark Casse unveiled an interesting newcomer Friday as Saree, a 2-year-old filly who recently arrived here after being purchased privately in England by owner Earle Mack, worked five furlongs on the training track turf course in 59.60 seconds.

"She passed that test pretty nice," said Casse, who watched Saree easily outfinish three workmates, including Wild Arrow, an allowance-caliber 3-year-old trained by Malcolm Pierce.

Jockey Patrick Husbands was aboard Saree, who is slated to make her North American debut in Saturday's Grade 3, $150,000 Natalma, a one-mile turf race for 2-year-old fillies.

Saree, who is by 1994 Breeders' Cup Mile winner Barathea out of the Shirley Heights mare Shouk, won her lone career start over about seven furlongs on good turf at Lingfield on July 19.

Cool N Collective shipping in for Elgin

Cool N Collective, a 6-year-old gelding who is based in New Jersey with trainer Dennis Manning, will be revisiting his old stomping grounds for Monday's renewal of the Elgin Stakes.

The Elgin, a 1 1/16-mile race for colts and geldings, 3 and up, is one of six $125,000 yearling sales stakes on the Labor Day program.

The six events, restricted to horses who went through the ring here at local yearling sales, attracted a total of 43 entrants, with one, Mobil, listed for both the Elgin and the Halton, a 1 1/8-mile turf race for 3-year-olds and upward. The latter is his probable destination.

Cool N Collective began his career with trainer Reade Baker and became a stakes winner in the 2000 edition of the Elgin. He spent the next season under the tutelage of Steve Asmussen, for whom he was winless in four outings, and then moved into the Manning barn at the beginning of last season.

Last September, Cool N Collective shipped up for the Elgin and finished second as the favorite, beaten a neck by Forever Grand.

Trainer Francine Faraci-Walder, formerly based here at Woodbine but now racing mainly at Monmouth and Gulfstream, will accompany Cool N Collective on his trip north.