05/08/2009 11:00PM

Dancing Allstar looking like her old self


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Dancing Allstar will try to affirm her position as Woodbine's leading female sprinter Sunday at Woodbine going 6 1/2 furlongs in the $150,000 Hendrie Stakes.

Dancing Allstar, Canada's champion 2-year-old filly in 2007, went into a tailspin after finishing third in the Grade 3 Azalea Stakes last July at Calder. Trainer Terry Jordan gave her the fall and winter off, and she led all the way in the Grade 3 Whimsical Stakes while returning from a 7 1/2-month layoff here April 18.

"We're very happy with the way she ran the other day," said Jordan. "She's training better now than she was before that race."

The journey to Florida, Jordan said, took its toll on the filly.

"She was stuck at the airport in Chicago for 12 hours," he said. "That really hindered her. She quit running after the race down there."

Dancing Allstar rarely has been headed in the early going, but Jordan believes that she isn't a need-the-lead type.

"She's not a one-dimensional horse," Jordan said. "She doesn't have to be out in front. She's got a couple of tricks up her sleeve."

The Grade 3 Hendrie has lured eight other fillies and mares, including Saskawea, Smart Surprise, Authenicat, and Verdana Bold.

Saskawea has been idle since finishing a close second to Smart Surprise in the Nov. 23 Bessarabian Stakes. She captured the seven-furlong Fury Stakes following a five-month break in 2007, but trainer Steve Attard said she might be a tad short for this engagement.

"She's shown me all the signs that she's ready, but I'd be happier if she had another workout," Attard said. "There aren't many races for her after [the Hendrie]. We need to start her off somewhere. We're going to take a shot, and see what happens. She's in good shape. Her last few workouts were fantastic moves. She loves to run fresh."

Smart Surprise was favored in the Whimsical, and wound up second after an inside stalking trip. After capturing the 1 1/16-mile Chou Croute Stakes with a Beyer Speed Figure of 107 at the Fair Grounds in February, Smart Surprise finished fifth in the Grade 3 Azeri Stakes at Oaklawn.

Authenicat, one of the leading 3-year-old fillies in Canada last year, was sixth in her season opener, the Grade 1 Madison at Keeneland.

Grade 3 stakes winner Verdana Bold, who was a late scratch from Whimsical, is returning from a layoff of more than eight months.