10/03/2002 12:00AM

Wando, Gigawatt light up Grey


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - An interesting cast is assembling for Sunday's Grey, which lost its Grade 1 status this year but is shaping up as one of the better races on the stakes calendar.

Wando and Gigawatt, two of the top 2-year-olds on the grounds, will be joined by a host of invaders in the Grade 2, 1 1/16-mile Grey, which offers a purse of $250,000.

A pair of grays checked in for the Grey Thursday morning, with Christmas Away and Rights Reserved vanning in together from Churchill Downs.

Christmas Away, trained by Pat Byrne, won his maiden first time out over a mile at Arlington July 28 and then finished second in the $200,000 Cradle over 1 1/16 miles at River Downs Sept. 2.

Kevin Willey, who rode here regularly before moving south and becoming a key assistant in the Byrne outfit, accompanied Christmas Away, who will be ridden by Rene Douglas.

Christmas Away has taken over the stall recently occupied by Falcon Flight, who was the runner-up in last Sunday's Canadian International. Douglas had been Falcon Flight's regular rider, but was replaced here by Pat Valenzuela.

Rights Reserved won the six-furlong Colin here in his third career start for trainer and part-owner Gail Casselman but then was sold privately to American interests.

In his only start for new trainer Chuck Simon, Rights Reserved finished last of six in the Grade 1 Hopeful over seven furlongs at Saratoga Aug. 31.

Rights Reserved was accompanied here by assistant trainer Scott Ward and will be reunited with jockey Robert Landry on Sunday.

Grand, an Irish-bred who was purchased by Barry Irwin's Team Valor after winning by 23 lengths on the dirt at Wolverhampton Sept. 7, was due in from England Thursday evening and will be looking to use the Grey as a stepping-stone to the Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Arlington Park Oct. 26.

Emile Ramsammy has picked up the mount.

Brancusi, based in New York, has been cross-entered in the Grey and Saturday's Champagne at Belmont. Dale Beckner has the call.

Trained by Patrick Biancone, Brancusi finished second in his only career outing, a seven-furlong maiden special at Saratoga Sept. 1.

Owned and bred by Gustav Schickedanz and trained by Mike Keogh, Wando is coming off a close second-place finish in the Summer Stakes, a Grade 2 over a mile of turf here Sept. 8.

The colt had won his two previous outings, including the six-furlong Vandal here Aug. 18. He will be ridden Sunday by Richard Migliore.

Keogh recalls calling upon Migliore frequently during his days as an assistant trainer to Roger Attfield, for whom he managed a string at Aqueduct in the winter of 1988.

Migliore's wins for the outfit include the Next Move Handicap, with Triple Wow.

Chopinina is Breeders' Cup-bound

Chopinina, a 4-year-old filly who was the runner-up at 55-1 in the Atto Mile here Sept. 8, is slated to make her next start at Arlington in one of the Breeders' Cup events.

Alec Fehr, who trains Chopinina for the Knob Hill Stable of Steve Stavro, said the filly would be pre-entered in both the Mile and the 1 1/4-mile Filly and Mare Turf.

Ramsammy, who rode Chopinina for the first time in the Atto Mile, is on call for Chicago.

Ballingarry heads back to England

Ballingarry, winner of Sunday's Canadian International, and Fraulein, winner of the E.P. Taylor, were getting ready to head off in different directions Thursday.

Ballingarry was to be flown back to England Thursday evening and will van from there to France, where he will stay with trainer John Hammond, to prepare for the Breeders' Cup Turf.

Although Ballingarry was purchased by United States interests immediately after the International, he had not come to North America with the required veterinary clearance necessary for an extended visit.

Jeff Ford, an assistant to Ballingarry's new trainer, Laura de Seroux, arrived at Woodbine late Wednesday evening and will accompany the colt on his travels.

"I jogged him once around the track, just to get a feel for him and to let Laura know what we've got," said Ford. "I was pretty impressed. When I jumped off him, I couldn't wait to call her."

Fraulein, who had arrived here with the necessary documentation, was scheduled to leave for Chicago Friday with an eye toward the BC Filly and Mare Turf.

Miss Crissy green but wins

Despite running greenly, Miss Crissy posted an 8-1 upset here in Wednesday night's $127,500 Victorian Queen Stakes.

Miss Crissy tracked front-running Dressed for Action through fractions of 22.34 and 45.78 seconds in the six-furlong dash for Ontario-sired 2-year-old fillies. She made the lead at the eighth pole, and then drew clear to win by 2 3/4 lengths in a final time of 1:11.70 seconds.

Deputy Cures Blues rallied inside to finish second, while Dressed for Action tired late to end up another 2 1/4 lengths back in third. Regal 'n Bold, the 3-5 favorite, was a distant fourth in the six-horse field.

"She likes to look around, all over the place," said Steven Bahen, who picked up the mount on Miss Crissy when Todd Kabel was a no-show.

"She ducked when I cocked my stick, and she ducked when I went to hit her, so I started screaming at her, and just tried to steer her home."

Miss Crissy, making her first start with Lasix, earned $76,500 in her first stakes score for Harlequin Ranches and trainer Emile Allain.

* Touch of the Blues, who has been training here since his unlucky fifth-place finish in the Atto Mile, and Nadia, who finished fifth in the Taylor, both shipped out Thursday for Keeneland. Both horses are trained by Neil Drysdale, who will send out Touch of the Blues in Sunday's Keeneland Shadwell Turf Mile.

* Jockey David Clark, who suffered serious injuries in a training accident here Aug. 15, is back galloping horses this week. Clark, who suffered two collapsed lungs, eight broken ribs and a fractured collarbone, has not set a timetable for his return to serious action.

"I'll just play it by ear," said Clark.

* Woodbine and its teletheaters will be offering simulcast wagering on Sunday's Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe and Prix du Grand Hotel Barrieire from Lonchamp. Post time here for the Arc is 11:30 a.m.

- additional reporting by Ron Gierkink