09/04/2002 11:00PM

Casse has the numbers in Natalma


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Trainer Mark Casse entered five, including unbeaten Meghanmehappy, in Saturday's Grade 3 Natalma Stakes for 2-year-old fillies at Woodbine.

The one-mile turf stakes attracted 21 entries, and was split into two divisions, each containing at least one sharp United States invader.

Meghanmehappy should be well backed in the first and stronger split, worth $169,200. She won her maiden on the main track with authority, and came from just off the pace on the turf to capture the seven-furlong allowance prep for the Natalma under Patrick Husbands.

"I thought she struggled a little with the turf in the prep," Casse said. "Patrick said he was trying not to make the lead too soon. Once she did make the lead, she switched leads and began to look around. I'm hoping she has an extra gear when she needs it."

Casse's other first-division runners are Better Half and first-time starter Lost Romance, who is bred for the grass.

"Lost Romance is pretty talented," Casse said. "She got injured earlier in the year. We worked her seven-eighths last time, and she went very nicely."

Among the others in the first division are Sand Springs, One and Twenty, and Little Miss Pamela.

Sand Springs, trained by Tony Reinstedler, earned an 83 Beyer Figure when she won her debut over yielding ground in a 1 1/16-mile maiden special at Saratoga.

One and Twenty is also coming off a maiden win over a yielding Saratoga course, which came in her third start. She is trained by Richard Violette.

Little Miss Pamela, trained by Richard Trimmer, won turf sprints at Colonial Downs in her two starts, including a minor stakes.

Fortuitous, based at Saratoga with trainer James Bond, should be favored in the $170,700 second division.

Fortuitous rallied to win her Aug. 19 debut in a maiden special at Saratoga, over a course rated good. Her 1 1/16-mile time of 1:43.60 was good for an 80 Beyer.

Casse's runners in the second split are Dress to Impress, victorious in her second start on the grass, and the speedy To the Chapel.

"I thought Dress to Impress ran well last time," said Casse. "She got into some trouble, and came running late. To the Chapel broke her maiden impressively, and because she's by Runaway Groom, I think she'll like the turf. She handled it well when she breezed over it."

Another contender in the second split is the Sid Attard-trained Sweet Storm Creek, who barely picked up her feet on the main track before she graduated at 62-1 in her grass debut.

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