06/11/2010 12:00AM

Embur's Song rolls into Woodbine Oaks


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - The U.S. shipper Embur's Song took Woodbine by storm May 22, when she won an allowance race in near track-record time, and she should be the prohibitive favorite Sunday in the 55th running of the $500,000 Woodbine Oaks.

The nine-furlong Oaks is one of two preps for the July 4 Queen's Plate on Sunday's 11-race card, along with the $150,000 Plate Trial Stakes. Oaks winners have fared well in the $1 million Plate in recent years, even though there was just a two-week gap between the two races. This year, there will be three weeks between the two Canadian classics.

CBC will televise both races during a one-hour broadcast that is scheduled to begin at 4:30 p.m. Eastern.

The Oaks is the first leg of the Canadian triple tiara, a series for Canadian-foaled 3-year-old fillies. It will be followed by the $250,000 Bison City Stakes over 1 1/16 miles on the Polytrack on July 11 and the $250,000 Wonder Where Stakes at 1 1/4 miles on the grass Aug. 1.

Embur's Song, trained by Todd Pletcher for Fares Farm, has captured both of her outings impressively, while earning Beyer Speed Figures of 99 and 98. After romping in her debut at Keeneland in April, Embur's Song led throughout a 1 /16-mile allowance here, scoring by nearly four lengths in 1:42.44, a time that was just .22 of a second off the Polytrack record set by True Metropolitan.

"We know this will be a much tougher race than the last one," Pletcher said. "From a timing standpoint, we're kind of asking her to do a lot in a short period of time. We're hoping that her natural ability can overcome maybe a less-than-ideal schedule."

Ernfold should be well-backed off her runner-up placing behind last year's co-champion 2-year-old filly Biofuel in the La Lorgnette Stakes. The pace was slow in that 1 1/16-mile route, and she made an early inside bid for the lead on the backstretch before ending up a length in arrears.

Trainer Roger Attfield, who has won the Oaks three times, said he was pleased with Ernfold's last performance.

"To be second to [Biofuel] was no disgrace at all," Attfield said. "The race didn't really go the way we would have liked it to go, because we had to go to the lead early. I thought it was a very creditable race."

Attfield said Ernfold has trained forwardly in the interim.

"I couldn't be happier with her," he said.

The speedy Resentless was one of the leading Ontario-bred 2-year-old fillies last year, when she won the Ontario Lassie Stakes and ran second in the Princess Elizabeth Stakes. After crushing a good field in her season opener in the May 1 Fury Stakes, she missed her final prep for the Oaks due to a virus but has worked encouragingly of late.

"It's always worrisome when you've missed time and you have to guess where you are," trainer Ian Howard said. "But her ability to sustain her speed throughout a race can take her farther than most horses. She does it very easily."

Roan Inish came from Ireland to win her maiden in style on Oct. 31 in the 1 1/16-mile Princess Elizabeth. She finished five lengths behind Resentless in second in her only appearance this year in the seven-furlong Fury.

Trainer Carolyn Costigan said she decided to train Roan Inish up to Oaks rather than run her again, in order to have her peaking for the more important stakes on her agenda, like the tiara races.

"The Oaks has always been the focus," Costigan said. "I used the one race to get her that little bit fitter. I'm happy with the way that she's been training. She's been going very well. I didn't think it was necessary to run again before the Oaks."

Moment of Majesty faded to third after dueling through splits of 25.34 seconds and 50.21 in the La Lorgnette. She was previously victorious in a seven-furlong allowance.

Tea Game has been a minor player in stakes this year. She wound up second to Resentless while beating Moment of Majesty in the Nov. 29 Ontario Lassie.

Isabeau's Elegance nosed out Oil Painting for first in a 1 1/16-mile maiden special on May 21.