09/18/2003 11:00PM

Two big guns in Swynford showdown


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Even though it doesn't flaunt graded status, the Swynford Stakes has evolved into one of the most important fixtures for 2-year-olds at Woodbine. The last five winners of the seven-furlong dash - Added Edge, Rare Friends, Highland Legacy, Exciting Story, and Riddell's Creek - were all voted the Sovereign Award as champion 2-year-old.

Sunday's running of the $134,250 Swynford has drawn only five runners, but it could contain a future champion. San Diego Blowout and Estevan are the two big guns, and the fine supporting cast consists of Third Day, Winter Whiskey, and Organ Grinder.

San Diego Blowout won both of his starts by a margin of 7 1/4 lengths while earning a Beyer Speed Figure of 80. He led all the way in his debut, and came from just off the pace to win the six-furlong Colin Stakes.

After the Colin on July 13, trainer Abraham Katryan pointed San Diego Blowout to the Silver Deputy, an overnight stakes here Aug. 31. That race failed to fill, so San Diego Blowout is coming into the Swynford off a nine-week layoff.

"It might be a two-horse race," Katryan said. "I think my horse has a bit of an edge, because he's won a stakes, and [Estevan] just broke his maiden. My horse has grown up quite a bit since his last race. He's been training well."

Katryan said he believes San Diego Blowout merits consideration for champion 2-year-old honors. "If he wins this race, I think he'd have a good chance," Katryan said.

San Diego Blowout is also entered in Sunday's Juvenile Stakes at Fort Erie but is unlikely to run there, according to Katryan. Emile Ramsammy has the mount.

Estevan, a $525,000 2-year-old purchase at Keeneland, was a 1-2 favorite in his debut but finished a well-beaten sixth after a wide stalking trip over a speed-favoring track.

"We were really disappointed with his first start," said trainer Josie Carroll. "We expected him to show up right off the bat."

Estevan more than made amends last time, in a six-furlong maiden special, winning by

an astounding 24 1/4 lengths while earning a 91 Beyer.

"He was pretty impressive when he broke his maiden," said Todd Kabel, who rode Estevan in both of his races. "He's fast, and has done everything asked of him in the mornings."

Third Day has been on hiatus since capturing the June 14 Victoria Stakes by disqualification. Trainer Mark Casse is aiming him toward the Grade 2 Grey Breeders' Cup Stakes, a 1 1/16-mile race here Oct. 5.