02/01/2010 1:00AM

Another stakes try for Monarchos Cassie


Monarchos Cassie has been perfect in her brief career - except when running in stakes. She will try for a breakthrough when she takes on six rivals Wednesday in the $18,000 City of Roses Handicap at Portland Meadows.

The one-mile and 70-yard race for fillies and mares will be a challenge for Monarchos Cassie, a 4-year-old daughter of Monarchos whose three victories all came in sprints at Portland Meadows. In her two stakes tries she ran sixth in the six-furlong Diane Kem at Portland last November and was last in the one-mile Mt. Hood there in October, her lone start around two turns.

Monarchos Cassie has been freshened since a third-condition allowance victory on Nov. 29, and trainer Jonathan Nance said he is hopeful that she has matured a bit since her last start and can now get the two turns.

While her breeding suggests Monarchos Cassie should be able to handle two turns, Nance worries that perhaps the filly may be strictly a sprinter. She doesn't like to be restrained, Nance said, and will be sent to the lead by jockey Troy Stillwell.

"It will be 'catch me if you can,' " said Nance, who hopes that will prove a tough assignment.

Nance said she did not show her true ability in her stakes tries. He admits she probably wasn't ready to stretch out in the Mt. Hood, and he points out that she had to face Perfect Finish - the best 3-year-old filly on the grounds - in both the Mt. Hood and the Diane Kem.

Three of her Wednesday rivals are proven in route stakes.

Gameshy, winner of the Oregon Sprint, was second in a 1 1/16-mile invitational handicap in her last start and has placed in four route stakes.

T J Timber, who lost to Monarchos Cassie in the Nov. 29 sprint, ran third in the Mt. Hood. Eloisa, second earlier in her career in a minor route stakes, was fourth in the Mt. Hood and led Monarchos Cassie every step of that race.