07/30/2009 11:00PM

Belle Valee may be overlooked


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Belle Valee could be the sleeper in Sunday's $125,000 Nandi Stakes, the supporting feature on the Breeders' Stakes card at Woodbine.

Belle Valee should be a square price in the six-furlong dash for Ontario-sired 2-year-old fillies. She beat males in her debut in a 4 1/2-furlong maiden special May 18. The runner-up, Who's Big Daddy, has since won the restricted Clarendon Stakes.

Trainer Jim Smith said jockey Emile Ramsammy expected an even sharper effort from Belle Valee in her opener.

"Emile said she was a little bit flat compared to the way she'd been working," Smith recalled. "Two days afterwards, she exhibited a few signs of colic. We treated her for it, and a few weeks after that, it was the same type of thing. When she comes into season, she gets almost colicky. We have a better handle on things now, and we treat her accordingly. She might have been coming into season when she broke her maiden."

Belle Valee had been idle for nearly two months when she finished a distant fourth in the July 12 Shady Well Stakes. Smith said she had a troubled trip in that 5 1/2-furlong dash for Ontario-breds, and could have fared better if things had gone her way.

"She got into a little bit of traffic at the quarter pole," Smith said. "She lost some momentum, and started running again towards the end. I don't know if she could have been second, but I think she should have been third for sure."

Elated Moon, trained by Steve Asmussen, should be strongly backed off her third-place finish in the open My Dear Stakes June 28.

Elated Moon could manage only third as the even-money favorite most recently in the Shady Well. Assistant trainer Hank Gensler felt running her back in two weeks led to the dreaded bounce then.

"I think she ran a little flat," said Gensler. "She was acting fine in the morning, but you never really know until you set them down and ask them for everything in the lane. She didn't quite have the move that she had before. She came back great out of the race, and we're hoping the extra week this time will help."

Oistins, who was supplemented at a cost of $2,500, graduated second time out in a 4 1/2-furlong maiden dash for Ontario-sired fillies. She figures to show speed after breaking from the rail in the 11-horse field.