05/21/2008 11:00PM

Anne's Purse taking jump up


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Last year, trainer Earl Barnett orchestrated a productive campaign for You Will Love Me that included a victory in the Lady Angela. This year, Barnett is hoping for similar success with Anne's Purse, who will make her second start in Saturday's $125,000 Lady Angela for Ontario-sired 3-year-old fillies.

You Will Love Me recorded her first stakes win in her fourth career start in the seven-furlong Lady Angela. She went on to win the restricted Passing Mood and Eternal Search before finishing the year with 5 wins, 9 in-the-money finishes, and earnings of $337,890 from 10 starts.

Anne's Purse, owned and bred by The Big C Little C Stable of Jim De Angelis, won a six-furlong Ontario-sired maiden race in her debut here April 30.

"She came in to me here last August, but she was very immature," said Barnett. "She did everything right. She just didn't have growth - she was a little awkward."

Anne's Purse actually was entered during the final week of the 2007 meeting but did not make it to the post.

"She got cast in her stall a couple of days before," said Barnett. "We scratched her, and it was too late to get back into the entries. So I took her to my farm and let her have the winter to grow up."

Anne's Purse returned to Woodbine in late February and had her first breeze on March 23, going three furlongs in 38.40 seconds.

"Last year, she'd showed she had some speed," said Barnett. "We were trying to control it. We didn't really let her do what she wanted to do. We didn't want her to buck shins."

Barnett decided to turn loose Anne's Purse in her second three-furlong breeze this year, and the filly was clocked in 33.20 seconds. And while three subsequent works under jockey Eurico Da Silva were less spectacular, they provided Anne's Purse with the necessary foundation.

"Every time she came back, Eurico raved about her," said Barnett.

Anne's Purse ran to those raves by winning her debut by 5 1/2 lengths and bypassed a restricted first-level allowance in order to contest the Lady Angela.

"You only get one shot at this stake," said Barnett. "And, I'm very confident seven furlongs won't hurt her. Eurico swears she's easy to rate."

Tough finding spot for You Will Love Me

Owned and bred by Bill Jones, You Will Love Me has yet to make her seasonal debut despite being entered on several occasions.

"I've tried to get her in three races, and none have filled," said Barnett. "I could have gone in the Hendrie, but that would have been a little unfair to her."

The Grade 3 Hendrie is an open race that was run here May 11.

"I've got an Ontario-sired stakes campaign coming up for her," said Barnett.

The $125,000 Ballade, a six-furlong race for fillies and mares on June 14, is the meet's first restricted stakes for the filly/mare division.

"She's been working very well," said Barnett. "I want to keep her fresh and run there."

Mixed bag in allowance test

A 1 1/8-mile first-level allowance for 3-year-olds on Saturday looms as a critical test for several 3-year-olds heading for the June 22 Queen's Plate.

The field of 11 includes five Canadian-bred 3-year-olds who were nominated to next Sunday's 1 1/8-mile Plate Trial. The others are American-breds who could use Saturday's race as a stepping-stone to the June 8 Victoria Park, a 1 1/8-mile race for 3-year-olds.

Trainer David Bell will send out one of each kind in Shadowless, a Canadian-bred owned by Heather Takahashi, and Mr. Bowie, a Pennsylvania-bred owned by Gus Vlahos.

Shadowless is coming off a distant third-place finish in the seven-furlong Queenston here May 3, while Mr. Bowie ended fifth in his last start, a 1 1/16-mile first-level allowance on the same card.

"This will be the acid test for Shadowless," said Bell. "His pedigree's more turf and sprinting."

On Monday, Shadowless and Mr. Bowie worked five furlongs in company here in a bullet 58.40 seconds.

"Shadowless didn't gallop out very well, maybe because of the way the work set up," said Bell. "He went really quick early, and when he's aggressive early, he doesn't finish well.

"If the Plate wasn't there I wouldn't have run him this week off that work."

Mr. Bowie, claimed for $50,000 on the second-to-last day of the 2007 meeting, finished fifth in a first-level allowance at 6 1/2 furlongs in this year's debut and is a serious wake-up prospect.

"He trains like a good horse," said Bell. "He got into trouble both times this year, and he'll handle a mile and an eighth."

Mr. Bowie will race with blinkers for the first time on Saturday.

Locals hit the road

Two locally based horses will be competing in out-of-town turf stakes on Saturday.

Much Obliged, a Kentucky-bred filly trained by Malcolm Pierce, was scheduled to leave Thursday evening for Arlington's American 1000 Guineas, a one-mile race.

Much Obliged was an impressive winner of back-to-back turf races at Fair Grounds this winter. She was entered in an optional claiming race here last Sunday but was scratched.

"It's straight 3-year-old fillies, and it's worth $200,000," said Pierce, of the American 1000 Guineas. "It would be better for her to finish third in the race down there than to win the race here."

Meanwhile, Rising Cross, a 5-year-old mare who joined Roger Attfield's stable late last fall, checked into Belmont Park early Thursday morning for the Grade 2, $150,000 Sheepshead Bay, a 1 3/8-mile race for fillies and mares.

Owned by Gary Tanaka, Rising Cross ended third in her first start for Attfield, the Grade 3 Bewitch over 1 1/2 miles on turf at Keeneland last month.