05/23/2003 11:00PM

Woodbine: Fly Smartly soars


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Sam-Son Farm, trainer Mark Frostad, and jockey Todd Kabel won the Grade 3 Connaught Cup Stakes at Woodbine for the second year in row, this time with Fly Smartly.

Fly Smartly raced about three lengths off the pace while wide in the $173,550 event, which was run over very soft turf at 1 1/16 miles. Le Cinquieme Essai and Silver Spear hooked up on the front end through fractions of 25.13 and 49.94 seconds while being stalked by Solitary Dancer and Stage Classic.

Solitary Dancer was blocked behind the leaders in the stretch and found room inside the eighth pole, but he was overhauled in deep stretch by Fly Smartly, who prevailed by three-quarters of a length.

Solitary Dancer finished a neck ahead of Mr. Sulu in second, while Red Sea was fourth in the 11-horse field. Union Place was scratched. The final time was 1:47.71.

"I was concerned about the turf," said Kabel. "I rode him one time over a yielding course and he didn't handle it at all, but he had been training really good coming into this race."

Fly Smartly returned $14.70 and earned $104,130 in his stakes debut. His connections won the 2002 Connaught Cup with Quiet Resolve.