10/06/2010 12:25PM

Embellished sets sights on divisional title


Divisional honors could be on the line when Embellished and Spirited Winner meet in the $50,000 Freedom of City Stakes for 2-year-old fillies on Friday at Northlands Park. The one-mile feature attracted seven horses, but most of the attention will be focused on the two stakes winners, Embellished and Spirited Winner.

Embellished easily handled Spirited Winner in the 6 1/2-furlong Bird of Pay on Aug. 28, and if she can handle the extra yardage, she will be tough to beat. Trained by Rick Hedge, Embellished is versatile. She forced the issue early in the Bird of Pay, before drawing off to win by seven lengths, and jockey Heribert Martinez eased her off the pace when she won the six-furlong Princess Margaret by 3 1/2 lengths July 17. Hedge is confident she will be able to handle going around three turns.

“She’s not a big filly, but she gets over the ground easily,” Hedge said. “She certainly trains like she’ll get the distance.”

Embellished has had three solid works since she won the Bird of Pay, and Hedge likes the way she is coming into the race.

“I backed off of her a little after her last win, but she has really picked it up in the last couple of weeks,” he said.

Spirited Winner may not have been able to warm up Embellished in the Bird of Pay, but distance could be an equalizer. Spirited Winner has already shown she can handle going around three turns, with a win in the one-mile Sturgeon River for Alberta-breds Sept. 18. Trained by Joan Petrowski, Spirited Winner has shown good speed in all of her races and will likely be involved right from the start.