04/20/2006 11:00PM

Cotey thinking filly has shot in Star Shoot

Michael Burns Photo Ltd.
Thinking Out Loud, here winning the Coronation Futurity, would have to be supplemented to the Queen's Plate.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Drinknwiththedevil is short on experience.

But Dave Cotey, trainer and co-owner of Drinknwiththedevil, believes she may be long on talent and deserves the chance to participate here Sunday in Woodbine's $125,000 Star Shoot for 3-year-old fillies.

"I don't know if she's this good, but we've got to give her a shot," said Cotey. "She's American-bred - there are not all that many races for her."

Drinknwiththedevil, a Kentucky-bred by Devil His Due out of Tipsytoo, came into the track last year but did not make it to the races.

"She was almost ready to run, but then she did something to her hind end," said Cotey. "She was a little iffy, so we just stopped on her early in the fall."

After starting back training at the beginning of January, Drinkn-

withthedevil returned to Woodbine when the backstretch opened on Feb. 14 to begin serious preparations for her debut.

"She worked great - very, very easy all the time," said Cotey. "She's a tidy little filly. She's well made."

On April 2, the second day of the meeting, Drinknwiththedevil went off at 11-1 in a fairly difficult maiden special weight race at five furlongs, and led throughout under jockey Constant Montpellier.

"We loved her," said Cotey, who since has watched Drinknwiththedevil work five furlongs in a solid 1:00.20 on April 16.

"We might be sending her to the lions rather quickly, but she came out of the race great, and that wasn't an easy field she was running against."

Motel Dancing a second shooter

Cotey will have a second entrant in the Star Shoot as Motel Dancing, also Kentucky-bred, will be making her seasonal bow.

"She's a lot more experienced," said Cotey.

Motel Dancer won twice and finished in the money in five of her six appearances at 2.

Motel Dancing had made three consecutive starts around two turns before cutting back to 6 1/2 furlongs and scoring impressively here Nov. 27.

"Her last race was very nice," he said. "She won very easily."

And while Cotey is looking farther down the road, with a particular eye toward the Grade 3, $250,000 Selene at 1 1/16 miles here May 21, he is not about to discount Motel Dancing's Star Shoot chances.

"Six furlongs isn't her bag - she wants to go farther," said Cotey. "But she's been working very strong all spring, finishing strong. We're real happy with her."

Thinking Out Loud works toward Plate

Thinking Out Loud, winner of the 1 1/8-mile Coronation Futurity here last fall, continues to gear up for a run at this year's $1 million Queen's Plate on June 25.

On Friday morning, working in company with older stablemate Bold Riot, Thinking Out Loud went five furlongs on the main track in 1:00.60 under regular rider Todd Kabel. Bold Riot also was clocked in 1:00.60.

"Todd was very happy with him," said David Bell, who trains Thinking Out Loud for D. Morgan Firestone. "He was just breezing along. He was kind of on cruise control."

Thinking Out Loud was not nominated to the Plate by the Feb. 1 deadline, but he can be supplemented at a cost of $15,000 at the next stage on May 15.

Thinking Out Loud wintered at Classic Mile Farm in Florida with farm trainer Bill Recio, who has collaborated with Bell on other occasions.

"He's a very good horseman," said Bell. "He does a great job."

Bell, who spent part of the off-season in the Miami area, made several trips to Ocala to keep tabs on Thinking Out Loud's progress.

"He had some serious work into him down there," said Bell "He's going well - he seems to be on target."

Although Thinking Out Loud was nominated to Saturday's six-furlong Woodstock, Bell prefers to await the seven-furlong Queenston for Ontario-foaled 3-year-olds here May 6.

The stakes road to the 1 1/4-mile Queen's Plate for Canadian-bred 3-year-olds continues with the 1 1/16-mile Marine on May 20, the 1 1/8- mile Plate Trial on June 4, and the 1 1/8-mile Victoria Park on June 11.

"We'll start at the Queenston, and let him tell us what he wants to do," said Bell. "One good thing is he has plenty of experience at two turns - it's not that we have to find that out."

In addition to winning the Coronation, Thinking Out Loud finished first in a mile and 70-yard maiden race only to be disqualified, and then recorded his first official victory at 1 1/16 miles.

Bridgecut behind schedule

Bell is less optimistic when it comes to the Queen's Plate prospects of Bridgecut, a homebred gelding whom he trains for Melnyk Racing Stable.

Bridgecut, winner of his second career start when he was stretched out to a mile and 70 yards here last September, went on to finish fifth in the Coronation and third in the 1 1/16-mile Display before heading to his owner's Winding Oaks in Florida.

"A couple of little things happened over the winter that backed up his training a little bit," said Bell, who sent out Bridgecut to breeze a half-mile in 49.40 seconds here Tuesday.

"He's a little bit behind in his training for the Plate. That would be our target, but it's not a do-or-die effort."