10/16/2008 11:00PM

Born to Be a question at the distance


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Born to Be, a daughter of A.P. Indy who was sold for $475,000 as a yearling, was born to be a good one, and she has a chance to win her first stakes Sunday in the $175,000 Maple Leaf on the Woodbine Polytrack.

Born to Be started twice on the Polytrack last year as a 2-year-old, when she was trained by Eric Coatrieux. She won her debut and was third in the Grade 3 Mazarine Stakes at Woodbine before being turned over to trainer Michael Matz, who had limited success with her on the grass in the United States.

Born to Be recently rejoined Coatrieux's barn, and finished a clear second in the 1 1/16-mile La Lorgnette Stakes on the Polytrack on Sept. 27. The winner, Sugar Bay, subsequently landed her fourth consecutive stakes in the Carotene.

"When she ran in the States, she ran strictly on the turf," Coatrieux said. "I'm not sure if she really likes the turf."

Coatrieux has mixed feelings about running Born to Be at 1 1/4 miles in the Maple Leaf.

"I'm not overly optimistic," said Coatrieux. "She ran the distance one time in the States, and didn't do all that good. At the same time, I was quite happy with her last race. She ran big. It seems like she wants to go long."

Emma Ain't Bluffin has been idle since she finished a close third in the Sept. 1 Algoma, a stakes for graduates of local yearling sales.

"She got trapped down on the inside," trainer Steve Owens said. "If she had gotten to the outside, I think the outcome might have been different. She was fighting off a viral infection going into the race. Her blood was off, and it took us a while to get her back."

Owens is confident that 1 1/4 miles will be within range for Emma Ain't Bluffin.

"She should have no problem with that," said Owens. "She trains a couple of miles daily."

Arden Belle captured the Algoma for the second year in a row Sept. 1. Like Emma Ain't Bluffin, she has never competed beyond 1 1/16 miles.

Patrick Husbands inherits the mount on Arden Belle from Jono Jones, who will be riding Russian Rosie.

Russian Rosie finished fifth after a wide journey in last year's Maple Leaf. She has not started since her victory in a slow second-level allowance-optional claimer Aug. 10.

Tell It as It Is has competed exclusively on the grass since she wound up third in the 2007 Maple Leaf.