05/07/2009 11:00PM

Carroll barn loaded with good fillies

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ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Trainer Josie Carroll may be suffering from an embarrassment of riches on the filly and mare front this season.

"I have a barnful of really nice fillies this year," said Carroll, just before entering Smart Surprise and Authenicat in Sunday's Grade 3, $150,000 Hendrie at 6 1/2 furlongs.

Serenading, who was entered in a 1 1/16-mile classified allowance race that failed to fill for two consecutive days before being scrapped, will be a going concern this year going long.

And Carroll also has high turf hopes for the mares Lady Attack and Scenery Change, a pair of Kentucky-bred 5-year-olds who were purchased at this year's Keeneland January sale and now race for Hill 'n' Dale Equine Holdings.

Smart Surprise, a Kentucky-bred 5-year-old owned by Hill 'n' Dale, joined Carroll's string here last summer and won 3 of 4 starts at the meet.

After becoming a stakes winner in the Grade 3 Bessarabian in her season finale on Nov. 23, Smart Surprise resurfaced at Fair Grounds in mid-February and captured the Chou Croute at 1 1/16 miles on the slop.

Well-backed when making her next start in the Grade 3 Azeri at 1 1/16 miles at Oaklawn, Smart Surprise finished a flat fifth and then returned to Woodbine to finish second as the odds-on choice in the Grade 3 Whimsical at six furlongs.

"It was a little difficult for her to scale back from a mile and a sixteenth to six furlongs," said Carroll. "I probably didn't sharpen her up enough, and we let that other horse get away."

That "other horse" was the 4-year-old filly Dancing Allstar, who led throughout the Whimsical and also is back for the Hendrie.

Leading rider Patrick Husbands replaces the injured David Clark on Smart Surprise for the Hendrie, and the presence of other speed in the lineup should help her chances.

Some of that speed could be provided by Authenicat, an Ontario-sired 4-year-old who figures to press the pace as she makes her second start of the season.

Authenicat, owned by Vinery Stables and Fog City Stables, opened up her campaign in the Grade 1 Madison at Keeneland and finished a distant last of six in that seven-furlong race.

"She just ran a dull race; she had no excuses," said Carroll. "She never really picked up the bridle.

"It was tough company, but she just didn't run her race. It's probably the first time in her career she's ever done that without an excuse. She ran a couple of bad races earlier in her career when she was prone to coming back full of mucus, but she got over that."

Authenicat had run 14 times prior to the Madison, fashioning a record of 5-6-1 including stakes scores here in the restricted Victorian Queen, Passing Mood, and Eternal Search.

Serenading could head to Arlington

Serenading, a Kentucky-bred 5-year-old who races for John and Glenn Sikura, ran second to eventual filly-mare champion Bear Now in back-to-back 1 1/16-mile stakes here last spring before turning the tables in the Belle Mahone in what turned out to be her final start of the season.

Away from the races for eight months, Serenading returned in Keeneland's April 17 Doubledogdare and was a solid runner-up in that Grade 3 stakes at 1 1/16 miles.

"I thought she ran a tremendous race," said Carroll. "I was thrilled with her."

Carroll had hoped to use the local allowance race as Serenading's stepping-stone to the $100,000 Hill 'n' Dale, a 1 1/16-mile stakes for fillies and mares here June 20.

"I'll probably have to go to Arlington with her first," said Carroll, noting that the Grade 3, 1 1/8-mile Arlington Matron on May 23 would fit Serenading's schedule.

Lady Attack close in two U.S. starts

Lady Attack, a $105,000 purchase, placed in Saratoga's Lake George and Lake Placid on the grass as a 2-year-old and had been away for almost 18 months when she resurfaced with a fourth-place finish in her debut for Carroll at Fair Grounds this March.

In her next and latest appearance, Lady Attack finished third in second-level allowance company going 1 1/8 miles on turf at Keeneland.

Scenery Change, a $170,000 buy, finished second on the Fair Grounds turf in her debut for Carroll at Fair Grounds this winter.

In a subsequent outing, Scenery Change faltered to finish fourth in an off-the-turf third-level allowance at 1 1/8 miles at Keeneland.

Springside recovering from injury

Carroll also reports that Springside, who suffered a fractured right pastern when romping by 9 1/2 lengths in Aqueduct's Grade 2 Demoiselle last Nov. 29, remains on the road to recovery and can look forward to a new career as a broodmare.

"Everything is progressing well," said Carroll. "She won't be bred this year; she'll be given an opportunity to heal completely."

Springside, a Kentucky-bred 3-year-old owned by Jim and Alice Sapara, had won her maiden at seven furlongs and a first-level allowance at 1 1/16 miles prior to her very impressive effort in the Demoiselle.

Eastern Promise could target Plate

The Queen's Plate could have an interesting new player as Eastern Promise, who has been racing in France, has been purchased by owner Earle Mack and has been supplemented at a cost of $5,000.

Eastern Promise, a colt by Grand Slam out of Light Show, was bred in Ontario by Kinghaven Farm and sold for $140,000 at Keeneland's September yearling sale.

Trained in France by Jean-Claude Rouget, Eastern Promise has fashioned a 1-3-0 record from 5 starts and finished fourth last time out at one mile on turf at Longchamp.

Two of Eastern Promise's outings came over the synthetic surface at Deauville, where he won his last of three starts at 2 going 7 1/2 furlongs and finished second in his 3-year-old debut at the same distance.

Eastern Promise, who will be trained here by Mark Frostad, is scheduled to arrive Tuesday and could run in Saturday's Grade 3, $150,000 Marine, an open 1 1/16-mile race for 3-year-olds.

The $1 million Queen's Plate, a 1 1/4-mile race for Canadian-bred 3-year-olds, will be run here June 21.