09/11/2006 12:00AM

The word's out on Hide and Chic now

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ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Hide and Chic was overlooked at 48-1 when she won the Royal North, a six-furlong turf race for fillies and mares at Woodbine on Aug. 7. Owned by the Live Oak Plantation of Charlotte Weber, she was making her local debut and her first start for trainer Malcolm Pierce and jockey David Clark in the Royal North, which also happened to be her first race in more than seven months.

The wagering public had less trouble finding her here last Saturday, when Hide and Chic, racing on Polytrack for the first time, was a two-length winner of the 6 1/2-furlong Seaway. She paid $9.40 to win.

"We were thrilled," said Pierce, who has saddled five winners in September. "We've always thought she was a good filly. Now, everybody's catching on.

"She was impressive," he said. "She ran fast, and she handled that group pretty easily. What she did is what her deal is - she's an off-the-pace sprinter."

Hide and Chic's next stakes opportunity here would be the $125,000 Ontario Fashion, a six-furlong race for fillies and mares on Nov. 4.

"I'd be looking for a race for her the first part of October, and that's probably going to have to be out of town," said Pierce.

Elle Runaway will give Canadian a shot

Pierce said he is planning to send out Elle Runaway in Sunday's Grade 2, $300,000 Canadian, a 1 1/8-mile turf race for fillies and mares that is one of the supporting features on the Woodbine Mile program.

Elle Runaway, a Kentucky-bred 4-year-old filly, has not seen action since finishing second behind Ambitious Cat, who also is Canadian-bound, in the July 25 Dance Smartly over the same distance and surface.

"We've had quite a lot of time between races," said Pierce. "I would have liked to have run her in between, but there just hasn't been anything for her.

"I entered her in the prep for the Canadian, but I was the only horse and they wouldn't let me participate."

Elle Runaway has maintained a steady workout schedule, including five furlongs on Polytrack in 1:00.40 here last Saturday.

"She couldn't be training any better," said Pierce. "I just don't know where she's up to the caliber of fillies we have to face in the Canadian, but we've got to give her a chance."

Arlington horses lured by new surface

Pierce welcomed two new shooters from Arlington Park into his barn here recently, Devilment and Zetetic, a pair of Kentucky-bred 4-year-olds owned by the Pin Oak Stable of Josephine Abercrombie.

"They both act like stakes-caliber horses," said Pierce. "They sent them up here because we were getting the Polytrack.

"This new track should help my business, and help everybody's business," said Pierce. "I think people are going to want to run here."

Devilment has not seen action since last Oct. 9, when he finished fourth in the 1 1/8-mile Ontario Derby for trainer Michael Stidham. Two starts before the Ontario Derby, Devilment won the Round Table at 1 1/8 miles at Arlington.

Zetetic, who last saw action at Louisiana Downs on Dec. 31, had finished second in the 1 1/16-mile Woodchopper there Nov. 27.

Jambalaya gets first Polytrack work

Jambalaya, who is nominated to the Grade 1, $1 million Woodbine Mile, breezed five furlongs on Polytrack in 1:00 here Saturday. The drill was his first over the new all-weather surface.

Jambalaya, a 4-year-old gelding owned by Kingfield Farm and trained by Catherine Day Phillips, is also nominated to the Grade 2, $300,000 Sky Classic, a 1 3/8-mile turf race here Sept. 24.

"He's most likely still aiming for the Sky Classic, but we'll keep an eye on the [Woodbine] Mile," said Day Phillips. "It looks like a fairly formidable race, and to cut back in distance to go up in class may be not a good idea."

Jambalaya, a turf specialist, won the 1 1/2-mile Breeders' here and the Grade 3 Saranac at 1 3/16 miles Saratoga last season.

This year, Jambalaya won the Singspiel here at 1 1/2 miles on turf and finished third in both the Grade 2 Northern Dancer and Grade 2 Nijinsky over the same distance and course.

The Northern Dancer was run over soft going and the Nijinsky over a yielding surface. Day Phillips said she believes such conditions are not favorable for Jambalaya.

Two top stakes contenders work

A couple of major contenders for this weekend's stakes turned in solid works here Monday morning.

Arravale, who is eyeing the Grade 2, $300,000 Canadian, worked five furlongs over the main turf course in 1:00.80.

Based here at Woodbine with trainer Mac Benson, Arravale won the 1 1/8-mile Del Mar Oaks on turf in her last start and will be facing older fillies and mares for the first time at the same distance in the Canadian.

Barilko, who will be seeking his fourth win in as many career starts for trainer Dave Dwyer in Saturday's $125,000 Swynford, breezed four furlongs in 46 seconds, the best of 33 Polytrack workouts at the distance.

The Swynford is a seven-furlong race for 2-year-olds.