07/13/2009 11:00PM

Desire and Fire must be caught


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Desire and Fire appears to be the only speed horse in Thursday's Woodbine headliner, and she could take some catching in the first-level allowance for Ontario-sired females.

Desire and Fire ran up the track in both of her winter outings, which came on dirt and turf at Gulfstream. She got back into her comfort zone here in May, when she finished third in a $20,000 conditioned claimer and fifth in a second-level Ontario-sired allowance.

Desire and Fire set honest fractions on an uncontested lead before fading to fifth in a difficult allowance route June 10. The winner, Sunflower Drive, and the fourth horse, Slavenska, both returned to prevail in restricted allowance company.

Desire and Fire is coming off one of her better turf efforts, fading to third after running on a clear lead until midstretch.

David Garcia retains the mount on Desire and Fire, who is trained by Alison Crook.

Clear Lake, Interregnum, and Lunar Linda are other possibilities in the 1 1/16-mile event.

Clear Lake has improved with each start this year. She was fourth in her six-furlong season opener, which set her up nicely for a runner-up placing behind wire-to-wire winner Selembo in a two-turn maiden special. Most recently, June 18, Clear Lake graduated over 1 1/16 miles after a three-wide stalking trip while beating Jemerra, who came right back to earn her diploma.

Robert Landry will get a leg up on Clear Lake from trainer Paul Attard, who sent out Private Meeting to win an Ontario-sired allowance in June following a maiden victory.

Interregnum has run hot and cold this year. She closed for second in her five-furlong season debut, but never fired in a longer sprint three weeks later. Interregnum rallied six wide to end up second behind Sunflower Drive June 10, but she's coming off dull try on the grass behind Lunar Linda and Desire and Fire.

That second-place finish was the first turf attempt for Lunar Linda. She was previously a flat third behind Sunflower Drive and Interregnum. Lunar Linda showed promise last year at 2, when she wound up second in the restricted South Ocean Stakes in November.

Rounding out the field are Lady of Mystery, Spanish Deputy and Venganza, who is running long for the first time with ample stamina in her pedigree.