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Call the Posse gets year started
ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Call the Posse is one of several promising Canadian-bred 3-year-old fillies in trainer Josie Carroll's barn.
On Sunday, Call the Posse will attempt to get off to a good start on the trail to the June 8 Woodbine Oaks when she faces six rivals in the $150,000 Fury.
Call the Posse makes her seasonal debut in the Fury, a seven-furlong race for Ontario-foaled 3-year-old fillies that has been an important stepping-stone to the 1 1/8-mile Woodbine Oaks.
"I think she ran very well on the synthetic track here last year," said Carroll.
In four starts for Vinery Stable, Call the Posse has won her maiden at six furlongs and a first-level allowance at seven furlongs.
Call the Posse's 2-year-old campaign ended on a down note, however, as she finished 10th in the $100,000 Letellier Memorial at six furlongs at Fair Grounds on Dec. 22.
"She didn't get away from the gate well, and she was struggling with the dirt and hit herself badly in behind," said Carroll. "Keeping in mind she'd run so well here, we just sent her to Vinery in Florida for the winter to get her ready to come up here."
Call the Posse has worked well since returning to Woodbine, including five furlongs in 1:00.40 here last Saturday, and Emile Ramsammy will ride her for the first time.
Authenicat to await Selene
Authenicat, who finished second opening her campaign here in the six-furlong Star Shoot on April 13, was nominated to the Fury but is not in the lineup.
"I thought it would be a little bit quick back for her," said Carroll, who trains Authenicat for Vinery and Fog City Stable. "She'll probably run in the Selene."
The Grade 3, $250,000 Selene, an open race for 3-year-old fillies, will be run at 1 1/16 miles here May 18.
Last year, Authenicat won Woodbine's six-furlong Victorian Queen for Ontario-sired fillies, then concluded her campaign with a solid second-place finish in the Grade 3 Pocahontas going one mile at Churchill Downs.
Plans unclear for Victory Romance
Victory Romance breezed six furlongs in 1:14 Friday morning. She finished last of six in her season debut in the Star Shoot.
Victory Romance finished second at 1 1/16 miles here last fall in both the Grade 3 Mazarine and the Princess Elizabeth.
"I'm not sure exactly where we're heading with her," said Carroll.
Bonanza makes it look easy
Bonanza ($8.10) overtook favored Giquere at the 70-yard pole en route to an easy victory in Friday's $104,200 Wando Stakes at Woodbine.
Giquere pressed Niagara Thunder through moderate fractions in the 1 1/16-mile route. Bonanza loomed into contention on the far turn under Patrick Husbands and won by 3 1/4 lengths in 1:43.99. Niagara Thunder faded to finish third in the seven-horse field of 3-year-olds.
Bonanza, owned by Will Farish and trained by Mark Casse, banked $60,000.
Barn incident sets back Alezzandro
A Carroll filly was involved in an incident that occurred during the wee hours here on April 12.
No one will ever know exactly what happened, but the filly wound up loose in the barn along with Alezzandro, who was Canada's champion 3-year-old male last year.
The filly was uninjured, but Alezzandro was evidently kicked in the chest. Alezzandro had been entered that day for a second-level allowance here, scheduled to be his seasonal debut, but he did not run because of the injury.
"He missed a couple of days of training," said Kevin Attard, private trainer for Knob Hill Stable. "But that was the perfect race, at seven furlongs."
With Alezzandro having missed that start, Attard said he is uncertain if he will run May 19 in the Grade 3, $150,000 Vigil, a seven-furlong race for 4-year-olds and upward.
Leonnattus Anteas to regroup
Leonnatus Anteas, runner-up to his stablemate Alezzandro in the Sovereign Award voting for his division last year, finished fourth in last Sunday's Grade 3 Ben Ali at Keeneland.
"It seemed like he was set for a better race, but he kind of ran the same kind of race that he did at Gulfstream," said Attard.
Leonnatus Anteas finished fourth in his seasonal bow there March 1.
"We'll get him back, and regroup from here," Attard said.
Nicki Knew may not make Oaks
Nicki Knew, a Canadian-bred 3-year-old filly trained by Attard, is coming off an injury and may not make the Woodbine Oaks.
Nicki Knew won her maiden at seven furlongs in her second start here last summer, and had her campaign cut short by a saucer fracture.
"She was back swimming in January," said Attard, "and started training well in February at Payson Park."
While Attard is pleased with Nicki Knew's progress, he is uncertain if she can be ready in time for the Oaks.
"I think she'd appreciate the distance, but I'm obviously behind the 8-ball with her," said Attard. "We'll just have to wait and see."
Siwa, a double stakes winner for Attard this year, is out for the year and might be retired after suffering what Attard called a "setback."P
Apprentice leaders lose bugs soon
The apprentice jockey landscape here is about to undergo a significant shift.
Tyler Pizarro, last year's Sovereign Award winner as outstanding apprentice and an Eclipse Award finalist, will ride with his five-pound allowance for the last time on Sunday.
Pizarro, 21, won 124 races to finish in a tie for third in the standings here last year.
Dean Deverell, 37, won 42 races here last year despite missing more than three months with injuries during a training mishap.
Deverell, who finished third in the Sovereign voting, will lose his apprentice allowance on Friday.
Matt Moore, the other Sovereign finalist in 2007, is scheduled to retain his bug through Aug. 18. Moore, 25, won 34 races here last year.
Apprentices Michelle Rainford and Catherine O'Brien have yet to see action this year due to injury.
Melanie Giddings, who had one win and two seconds from 12 mounts at the meeting, has gone to the sidelines after suffering a small fracture on her right hand during a spill here Thursday morning.
And, Stephanie Fedora has moved her tack to Hastings.
Four-day weeks get started
Woodbine is moving to a four-day racing week as entries will be taken on Sunday for the first Wednesday card of the season.
Post time on Wednesdays will be 6:45 p.m.
Wednesday also will mark the first Toronto Thoroughbred Racing Club meeting and the first telecast of the new season on The Score.
The TTRC meeting is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. Wednesday in the third-floor Champions area. Member registration will start at 7:30.
The Score will air its live broadcast from 7 to 10 p.m.
- additional reporting by Ron Gierkink