07/22/2009 11:00PM

Euphony seeking 7th straight in Lady Canterbury

Jack Coady/Coady Photography
Euphony gets up to win the Iowa Distaff at Prairie Meadows under rider Cliff Berry in her most recent start.

SHAKOPEE, Minn. - Trainer Donnie Von Hemel chuckled when asked what he thought of Euphony's chances in Saturday's $100,000 Lady Canterbury. After all, what could he say? Euphony has won 9 of 11 career starts. She has won her last six, all in stakes company, and figures to rule a prohibitive favorite Saturday.

Euphony is the latest in a string of Von Hemel-trained stakes winners owned and bred by Josephine Abercrombie's Pin Oak Stable, a list that includes Bedanken, a winner of $539,000; Grade 2 Fantasy winner See How She Runs; and Brownie Points, who ran out $950,000. In Von Hemel's opinion, Euphony stacks up nicely against her predecessors.

"She's on a par with all those fillies," Von Hemel said. "Of course there is a difference in all those horses, but I think the short answer is she would compare favorably."

Von Hemel's impression of Euphony wasn't lost on the Lady Canterbury competition, and as a result the field stands at seven. The Lady Canterbury, a one-mile turf race, is the richest open stakes of the local season and is carded as race 10, immediately following the day's seven Claiming Crown stakes.

Euphony, a 4-year-old daughter of Forest Wildcat, has earned $448,000. She enters off consecutive wins in the Iowa Distaff, the Grade 3 Arlington Matron, the Bayakoa Stakes at Oaklawn Park, the Remington Oaks, the Prairie Meadows Oaks, and the DeBartolo Oaks at Louisiana Downs in July 2008. She is a stakes winner on dirt, synthetic, and turf, over which she is 2 for 3 in her career.

Euphony's regular rider, Cliff Berry, will be in for the mount.

Euphony, who generally comes from just off the pace, should receive a stalking trip. Fabulous Babe, a pace-setting third behind Euphony in the Remington Oaks last fall, and Happiness Is, a winner over optional claiming foes at Churchill in May, each figure to take a shot at the favorite.

Quiet Queen, winner of last season's Lady Canterbury at 30-1, could be a threat to Euphony with a return to her best form. Jockey Tracy Hebert returns in the irons for trainer David Kassen in an effort to duplicate last season's memorable victory.

The biggest upset threat may come from late-running Lady Carlock, winner of the Grade 3 Suwannee River Handicap at Gulfstream earlier this season. Lady Carlock has posted three sharp breezes at her Arlington base following a troubled trip in the Jenny Wiley Stakes at Keeneland. Trainer Carl Nafzger has retained Julien Leparoux for the Lady Canterbury.