08/07/2008 12:00AM

Dancing Allstar now tries Duchess


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Dancing Allstar, Canada's reigning champion 2-year-old filly, makes her first Woodbine appearance of the year on Saturday in the $150,000 Duchess Stakes.

Dancing Allstar, a much-traveled filly trained by Terry Jordan, kicked off her campaign with an authoritative score in the six-furlong Mt. Royal Handicap May 4 at Stampede Park. She subsequently won another six-furlong stakes, the Emerald Downs at Hastings, and then took the restricted CTHS Stakes at Hastings.

Most recently, in the Grade 3 Azalea Stakes at Calder, Dancing Allstar failed to show her customary speed and finished a distant third behind the undefeated Indyanne, who earned a whopping 108 Beyer Figure.

"That was a tough trip for her," said Jordan. "She was in the van for 14 hours. They had an unexpected layover in Kentucky, and then she had the flight. It took a lot out of her, plus she hooked a very good horse."

Jordan said he isn't concerned with the Duchess distance of seven furlongs, which Dancing Allstar has yet to try.

"She's won going a mile and a sixteenth," Jordan pointed out, referring to her win in the Fantasy Stakes last fall at Hastings. "She doesn't need to be in front. She actually runs better from just off of it. We'll play it by ear."

Jordan said Dancing Allstar has rebounded nicely from her trip to Florida.

"She's been training very well," said Jordan. "She breezed five-eighths the other morning in a minute, and pulled up [three-quarters] in 1:13. Jim McAleney was on her, and he was very happy with her. I expect her to run pretty well."

Verdana Bold should be a major player, even though she has never cracked 80 on the Beyer scale. After shipping here from Maryland, Verdana Bold captured the six-furlong Star Shoot Stakes in April, and then led throughout the Grade 3 Selene Stakes at 1 1/16 miles in May.

Last time out, on the grass in the Alywow Stakes, Verdana Bold faded to finish sixth after getting cooked in a speed duel. Seven-eighths on the Polytrack should be right up her alley.

Gloriously narrowly lost the seven-furlong Fury Stakes in April after setting a lively pace. She could link up with Dancing Allstar on the front end.

Sugar Bay, sixth in the Woodbine Oaks and fourth in the Bison City Stakes, is coming off a victory in a seven-furlong allowance.

American shippers Lucky Mama and Magic Tune are both outsiders.