02/05/2009 12:00AM

Fast filly Strut the Canary steps up in Marshua


Jockey Jeremy Rose, who has won the last two runnings of Laurel Park's Marshua Stakes for 3-year-old fillies with Laila's Punch and Throbbin' Heart, has a big shot to make it three in a row Saturday with the extremely sharp Strut the Canary.

Although Strut the Canary is a neck away from being unbeaten in three lifetime starts, she steps up substantially in class for the six-furlong Marshua after running against maiden claimers twice and winning a starter allowance race by 8 1/4 lengths in her most recent start at Philadelphia Park.

Trained by Tim Tullock, Strut the Canary boasts the best last-race Beyer Speed Figure, a 79, which is close to the Beyer par of 81 for the last 10 runnings of the Marshua.

She may not have beaten very good horses, however, in either her maiden win or the starter allowance. The fillies she defeated are a collective 0 for 9 in their next starts.

Our Khrysty might be Strut the Canary's chief challenger in the seven-horse field. A half-sister to the 5-year-old Bullsbay, who ran second in last month's Grade 3 Hal's Hope in Florida, Our Khrysty is 3 for 3 in dirt sprints, including a win over three rivals in an overnight stakes at her home track, Penn National, last November. She cuts back to six furlongs after a dull effort going two turns in the Busanda over Aqueduct's inner track.

Call of a Lion finished second in the 1 1/16-mile Maryland Juvenile Championship in late December, her only start in Maryland. She's 3 for 5 at Charles Town, including a win via disqualification two weeks ago in a 4 1/2-furlong sprint.

Aspenglow faces tougher competition after crushing West Virginia-bred maidens in her career debut at Charles Town a month ago. She tuned up for this spot with a bullet three-furlong breeze in 36 seconds.

You Rock has been off since romping in a seven-furlong restricted stakes at Charles Town in late December. She won a first-level optional $50,000 claimer in her only try going six furlongs at Laurel.