Updated on 09/15/2011 1:31PM

'Breeze' has Oaks in her blood


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - If all goes according to plan, What a Breeze will be looking to uphold a family tradition in next year's Woodbine Oaks.

"The Oaks is her long-term goal," said trainer Earl Barnett. "She's a big, strong, good-looking filly and she's got the will."

What a Breeze is a daughter of Hope for a Breeze, who won the 1992 Canadian Oaks for the Hopefield Farm of owner-breeder Stan Dodson.

And judging by her performance at Woodbine in Sunday's 1 1/16-mile Ontario Lassie, in which she raced on the pace throughout before prevailing in a stretch-long duel with favored Gonetofarr, What a Breeze also could have the right makeup to become an Oaks winner.

"I was quite surprised at her style of running," said Barnett, who had expected What a Breeze to be stalking the pace. "But I did think she had a really good chance of winning, running second time at the distance."

What a Breeze, second when debuting at six furlongs here Sept. 16, had returned four weeks later in the 1 1/16-mile Princess Elizabeth, in which she finished a non-threatening fourth.

"At that point, it was a little much to ask of her," said Barnett. "We just got started a little too late."

But What a Breeze has been making up for lost time, winning her maiden at seven furlongs prior to her coup de grace in the Lassie. Now the filly is slated to leave next week for Ocala, Fla., where she will winter at Plumley Farms.

"We probably won't rush her back here early," said Barnett. "She can do a lot of training there."

A winning combination

The Lassie was the fourth Ontario stakes win of the season for both Barnett and Barton, who teamed up here to win the Sept. 3 Elgin and Sept. 22 Harry J. Addison Jr.

Barnett also sent out Sports Flashy to win the Rainbow Connection at Fort Erie, and Barton rode Tails of the Crypt to victory here in the Display.

Barton, who is winding up his first full season in Ontario, has ridden 35 winners. His mounts have earned almost $1.8 million.

Platts felt the pressure

It might have looked easy, but trainer Fenton Platts admitted to some anxious moments before and during Devil Valentine's victory here in last Saturday's Sir Barton.

"When you're 1-5 in a 125-grander . . . I was shaking in my boots," said Platts. "I was nervous all day; I've never been like that before."

Devil Valentine, a 3-year-old gelding owned by Sandra and Gerry Gibbs, was recording his third straight win and second straight stakes score for Platts, who took over as the horse's trainer this summer.

"He's going to get some rest now," said Platts, adding that Devil Valentine would winter at Windfields Farm in Oshawa, Ontario. "We probably won't bring him back in until mid-March.

"He'll probably do well with the time off - he's been a little high-strung, and he needs to mature a little bit."

Kabel solidifies his lead

Jockey Todd Kabel guided home three winners Sunday to stretch his lead in the jockey standings to six heading into this final week of the meeting. Kabel has won 140 races, while Patrick Husbands, who is seeking his third straight title, is next with 134.

Emile Ramsammy rode 10 winners last week, including Devil Valentine and four others last Saturday, and is sitting third with 124 tallies.

Bob Tiller heads into the final week with 61 winners and holds a lead of five in the trainer standings over Mike Wright Jr.

Lady Shari runs well in New York

Lady Shari, a good second under regular rider Constant Montpellier in Saturday's Grade 2 Demoiselle at Aqueduct, is back at Woodbine and soon will be off to nearby Huntington Stud for the winter.

"She came out of the race good," said trainer Dave Cotey, who also owns Lady Shari in partnership with Hugh Galbraith and Derek Ball. "Constant said she was really climbing a lot, and there wasn't a lot of pace, but at the end she was really strong."

Lady Shari, who also won the Grade 1 Mazarine here but seems destined to finish second to Ginger Gold in the Sovereign Award balloting in the 2-year-old filly division, is Kentucky-bred and thus can't run in the Woodbine Oaks.

"We'll start her back the first week in February; we want her ready for Selene," said Cotey, with reference to the Grade 1, 1 1/16-mile race for 3-year-old fillies which generally is run here in late May.

Time off for Impeachthepro

Impeachthepro, who had been here with trainer, Bobby Pion, preparing for this Saturday's Kennedy Road Stakes, instead is heading for a Florida vacation after coming up with a pus pocket in his foot.

Trained in New York by Mike Ferraro, Impeachthepro shipped in earlier this fall to win a classified allowance sprint for Pion and then defeated Say Florida Sandy in Belmont's Hudson Handicap.

Wake at Noon, owned by Bruno Schickedanz and trained by Abraham Katryan, looms the horse to beat in the $100,000 Kennedy Road at six furlongs.

A Fleets Dancer preps for Valedictory

A Fleets Dancer worked six furlongs in 1:14.80 here last Saturday under regular rider Robert Landry and will be looking for a second straight win in Sunday's closing-day Valedictory Handicap.

The $100,000 Valedictory, a 1 3/4-mile mile race for 3-year-olds and upward, will share the spotlight with the $125,000 Kingarvie, a 1 1/16-mile race for Ontario-sired 2-year-olds.

Wolverine, one of the leading contenders for the Kingarvie, drilled six furlongs in 1:13.80 here Monday morning.