09/28/2001 11:00PM

Woodbine analysis for 9/30

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BEST BET: FREEE VACATION (4TH RACE)

First Race

1. ONE DECEPTION 2. KEENE OTHELLO 3. CAP'S LITE

ONE DECEPTION battled three-wide on the lead before fading to third in a recent route at this level, and could be dangerous with the turnback to a long sprint. He should have a good outside stalking trip near the speedy Saratoga shipper REIGNY MEADOW before going in for the kill. KEENE OTHELLO closed wide for second in an identical situation Sept. 15, and was previously third in a Fort Erie allowance. CAP'S LITE got away slowly before mounting a five-wide rally to end up fourth behind the latter Sept. 15, and should be a late factor.

Second Race

1. MADAME RED 2. FOXY CONNECTION 3. DARK ENDING

MADAME RED prevailed in gutsy fashion over older stakes winner Katherine of Ascot when she tried a route of ground for the first time Aug. 24, and should be a formidable foe in this stakes prep for 3-year-olds. The up-and-comer has won three of her five seasonal outings for the meet's leading trainer. FOXY CONNECTION was third behind a victorious Katherine of Ascot in a recent $80,000 optional claimer, and has probably found her niche running long on the main track. DARK ENDING hasn't accomplished much since she was a lucky winner of the Grade 1 Selene Stakes in May, but could get back on track while switching from turf to dirt.

Third Race

1. COSA RARA 2. CASSIA 3. RICH MIST

COSA RARA is tied with Krz Ruckus as the leading race-winning runner at the meet with five victories, and should take some beating in this $62,500 claimer if she stays in the zone. Trainer Tino Attard has done a masterful job managing this determined filly. CASSIA has finished a lapped-on second in each of her last two main track starts, and could be tough racing near a projected moderate pace. RICH MIST ran four-wide most of the way when fifth behind CASSIA in her latest, and should not be overlooked.

Fourth Race

1. FREE VACATION 2. KEEMOON 3. SPRING OAK

FREE VACATION has been nearly invincible when competing from 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 miles on this course, and could prevail at a square price in the E.P. Taylor, which was won by local runner in 2000. She's in peak form and has effective tactical speed, which should come in handy over a course which often has been kind to that style this year. KEEMOON has shipped in from Del Mar via Belmont with some solid credentials for a trainer who's had lots of success here. She can handle firm or yielding ground and has a license to enjoy 1 1/4 miles, a distance she has yet to try. European fillies have dominated this event in the past, and SPRING OAK could be best of the two Fabre-trained sophomores. Peslier was on board for both of her wins, and also steered her to a fourth-place finish in the Group 1 French Oaks.

Fifth Race

1. EBONY COUNTESS 2. AMERICAN MARKET 3. EXPLOSIVE AMY

EBONY COUNTESS is a longshot prospect in this N1X allowance, even though the distance seems a bit farther than she wants to go. She got bogged down running on a dead rail last time while making a bid for the lead and then hanging, and could be sharper here in her second start off a freshening. Note that Walls was on board for her only score. AMERICAN MARKET should be closing stoutly if she gets some pace to run at. She rallied well from behind slow splits to end up second under similar circumstances Aug. 22, and raced four and five-wide throughout a more recent route experiment. EXPLOSIVE AMY maintained good form during the summer and is another possibility.

Sixth Race

1. WAKE AT NOON 2. KRZ RUCKUS 3. HOPEFUL MOMENT

WAKE AT NOON is looking to nail down the Sovereign Award as this year's champion sprinter in this dash, which has lured most of the top sprinters on the grounds. He's had some tough losses in graded fixtures south of the border this year, and his most recent effort in the Atto Mile on turf is a throwout. Trainer Abraham Katryan is red hot, having won with his first three starters this week. KRZ RUCKUS has notched five of his six starts this year, including two restricted stakes, and could lay claim to the Sovereign if he beats WAKE AT NOON fair and square. He relaxed just off the early pace before making his move when he shed the blinkers to take the prep for this handicap. HOPEFUL MOMENT parlayed a perfect stalking trip into his first stakes win while beating KRZ RUCKUS last out in the Shepperton Stakes, and has worked up a storm in the interim.

Seventh Race

1. PROSPECT MARK 2. PENTMANDY 3. KNOWN TENDER

PROSPECT MARK ran against a bias which favored outside closers while competing over a cuppy track Sept. 9, and understandably pitched his tent on the far turn. He's turning back to the distance at which he won his maiden, and should be a front-running threat while coupled with PENTMANDY. The latter also won his only race at seven furlongs, and should be closing for a piece while employing the turf-to-dirt angle. KNOWN TENDER would be competitive on a repeat of his solid penultimate effort in a conditioned claimer at this distance.

Eighth Race

1. MUTAMAM 2. STRUT THE STAGE 3. DALIAPOUR

MUTAMAM was a lapped-on fourth with the addition of Lasix in the 2000 Breeders' Cup Turf, and is back on the diuretic here for his second North American foray. He led all the way while prepping for this event in a Group 2 in England Sept. 9, and can handle any type of ground. STRUT THE STAGE lost a nail-biter after looking like a winner in the stretch of the Grade 1 Secretariat at Arlington, and is nearly unbeaten over this course. The powerful 3-year-old is getting a genuine acid test in his first attempt against older rivals, but he looks to be an upwardly mobile runner with a bright future. His dam's half-brother, Chief Bearhart, was second in this race as a sophomore in 1996, and then won it the next year. DALIAPOUR, a multiple Group 1 winner in Europe, was mired in a slump early this year and apparently didn't enjoy being based in Hong Kong. He's reportedly trained forwardly for his first appearance since April, and will be tough if he regains a semblance of his best form.

Ninth Race

1. STRIKE SMARTLY 2. SKY CHARIOT 3. RIVER DELIGHTS

STRIKE SMARTLY was a bang-up third behind millionaire Honor Glide most recently in the Grade 2 Niagara BC Handicap, in which he dueled through quick early fractions and dropped back heading into the far turn before re-rallying to miss second by a nose. He hasn't missed the board in four turf outings, and will form a strong entry with SKY CHARIOT, who had some traffic problems before closing to finish a neck back in third in a recent optional claimer. RIVER DELIGHTS, who closed mildly to be fifth in the 1 1/2-mile Niagara, is another consistent runner with a chance. He could complete the exactor with the favored Sam-Son duo.

Tenth Race

1. CRUEL DAWN 2. BOLD ENGAGEMENT 3. GREATBALLSOFFIRE

CRUEL DAWN gave stakes winner Sports Flashy a run for her money when second in a tougher optional claimer Sept. 14 and should be the boss this time, even if she bounces a little. BOLD ENGAGEMENT rallied steadily for third over a turf course which was kind to speed Sept. 21. She enjoys either surface, and should do some damage at a decent price if she can handle the quick comeback. GREATBALLSOFFIRE benefited from a speed bias when she bagged her third straight win Sept. 7, and should hit the tri as she steps up in class.