06/12/2004 12:00AM

Woodbine: 'Knight' breaks through


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Norfolk Knight ($12.50) made the lead on the first turn, and never looked back to capture the $129,375 Steady Growth Stakes at Woodbine.

Norfolk Knight set moderate fractions of 23.85 seconds and 48.08 in the 1 1/16-mile race for Ontario-sired runners. He began to draw away from Hot Pepper Hill at the top of the stretch, and went on to prevail by 3 1/4 lengths in a final time of 1:44.54.

Apprentice Jill Scharfstein rode Norfolk Knight. It was the first stakes score for both horse and rider.

"He dragged me out to the lead," said Scharfstein. "He was traveling pretty well down the backside, and I knew he would have something left in the tank afterwards."

Hot Pepper Hill held second, while Barath rallied to outfinish 3-5 favorite Barbeau Ruckus for third in the six-horse field.

Norfolk Knight banked $77,625 for owner Margaret Squires and trainer Hugo Dittfach.