05/30/2001 12:00AM

Was it worthwhile to wait?


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Horses who bypassed last Saturday's Connaught Cup Stakes - Allende, Red Scare, and Parose - are among the contenders in Friday's wide-open eighth race at Woodbine, an $80,000 optional claimer.

A field of 14 will line up in the one-mile turf race, which carries a purse of $66,000.

Allende ran fourth in two thirds of the 2000 Canadian Triple Crown, the Queen's Plate and Breeders' Stakes. His lone victory last year came in an allowance on the grass.

Allende returned from a winter break to finish fourth in an allowance prep for the Connaught. He came from 9 1/2 lengths off the pace with a ground-saving stretch rally in that seven-furlong turf race, and ended up just three lengths back of victorious Solitary Dancer.

Allende drew into the second division of the Connaught, but was scratched on race day by trainer Mac Benson. He worked a half-mile over the main track in 49.40 seconds Tuesday and should appreciate the move to a mile.

Na Somsanith has the call for the powerful Augustin Stable.

Red Scare encountered traffic problems in mid-stretch of his seasonal bow in the Connaught prep, and had to be steadied. He made up a little ground once he found room and finished six lengths in arrears.

Red Scare was winless in six outings last year, but he did finish a good second in the Grade 2 Connaught while beating the talented Incitatus. Mickey Walls rides for trainer Ian Howard.

Parose has run two solid races this year for trainer Ron Burke. He closed five wide to be beaten just a neck on dirt in an allowance prep for the Eclipse Handicap when he came off a five-month layoff April 28.

Most recently, in his first attempt on turf in the Connaught prep, Parose rallied to finish fifth, 4 1/2 lengths behind the winner. Jake Barton retains the mount.

Rounding out the field are Sir Frederick, Steady Ruckus, Valid N Bold, Prory, Certainly Classic, Speed Gun, Free Agent on Ice, Rare Sortof Devil, Double Blue, Riddell's Creek, and Karra Kul.

Speed Gun, the lone 3-year-old in the lineup, was beaten a pole in a six-furlong dash last week after the race was moved from a soggy grass course to the main track.

Speed Gun, who captured the Grade 2 Summer Stakes as a 2-year-old, is an aptly-named runner who should help cut out the fractions with Emile Ramsammy aboard.