11/08/2001 12:00AM

Win City, Kiss a Native go at it again

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ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Kiss a Native and Win City, who finished second and third, just a neck apart, in the Durham Cup Handicap, will meet again Saturday at Woodbine in the Grade 3, $163,800 Autumn Handicap.

Kiss a Native was voted last year's Canadian champion 3-year-old on the strength of his five stakes victories, which included a five-length score in the Grade 2 Pegasus Stakes at The Meadowlands.

Kiss a Native missed the first half of 2001 recovering from a hairline fracture of the cannon bone. He finished up the track first time off the shelf Aug. 5 in the Seagram Cup Handicap, but then won the allowance prep for the Durham Cup.

Most recently, in the Grade 3 Durham Cup, Kiss a Native came from off a slow pace to finish five lengths behind a sharp A Fleets Dancer, who rallied five-wide with an eye-catching run to win going away.

Trainer David Bell thinks Kiss a Native's last race wasn't his best.

"I was a little disappointed with him," Bell said. "But, in hindsight, he didn't get anything out of his first race, and then he won very easily, and I don't think he got much out of that race. Last time, A Fleets Dancer just swooped us."

Bell believes that Kiss a Native, who earned Beyer Speed Figures of 106 and 107 in his final two races last year, is in peak form heading into Saturday's 1 1/16-mile stakes. "He's been training great," he stressed.

Win City has won five of eight seasonal outings, banking $777,907, and will likely get the Sovereign Award as champion 3-year-old.

Win City returned from a seven-week vacation Sept. 15 to capture the McLaughlin Handicap. He closed wide in his first try against older rivals in the Oct. 7 Durham Cup, but couldn't match A Fleet Dancer's powerful kick.

Trainer Bob Tiller felt Win City's effort in the 1 1/8-mile Durham Cup was better than it appears.

"I thought it was a good race," Tiller said. "He made his move, and then A Fleets Dancer made a bigger move. He was 60 percent full of mucus when we scoped him after the race. We were amazed, because he scoped clean five days before that after we worked him."

Win City is slated to make his final start of the year in the Autumn, according to Tiller. "We're looking for a big race from him," he said.

Completing the field are Ocean Front, Parose, Steady Ruckus, Wicklow Highlands, and Bold n' Fancy.

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