06/07/2006 11:00PM

Like a Gem tops 10 in Oaks


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Like a Gem, who is coming off a second-place finish in the seven-furlong Fury Stakes here May 7, drew post 4 and has been installed as a lukewarm 5-2 morning-line favorite for Sunday's $500,000 Woodbine Oaks.

A field of 10 was announced for the 51st running of the Woodbine Oaks, a 1 1/8-mile race for Canadian-bred 3-year-old fillies, at the ceremonial draw here Thursday.

Seductively, a front-running winner of the 1 1/16-mile Selene Stakes here last time out, has drawn post 6 and is the morning-line second choice at 3-1.

Post position shouldn't play much of a role at the Woodbine Oaks distance but both Danny Vella, who trains Like a Gem, and Ian Black, who trains Seductively, were satisfied with their starting points.

"At a mile and an eighth, you've got a pretty good run to the first turn," said Vella.

"She's not going to be back too far. You don't want an outside post; you can break bad sometimes.

"She's not going to be back too far in the first turn. Post 4 suits us pretty well."

Said Black: "We're happy. We didn't want to be inside, and didn't want to be right on the outside either.

"She's got natural speed; I don't know who else might want the lead."

Regular rider Robert Landry will ride Like a Gem. Gerry Olguin retains the mount aboard Seductively.

Owned by Sam-Son Farm and trained by Mark Frostad, Strike Softly is the morning-line third choice at 9-2 and will begin from post 9 under rider Todd Kabel.

Sweet Breanna and Kimchi, one-two in a first-level allowance race at 1 1/16 miles here May 13, also will have their share of supporters in a wide-open Woodbine Oaks.

Sweet Breanna will break from post 3 under apprentice Justin Stein, who has been her regular jockey this season, while Kimchi, who will race without blinkers for the first time, starts from post 2 under regular rider Patrick Husbands.

Rounding out the field are London Snow, winner of the seven-furlong Lady Angela in her last start; Our Madison, who upset Like a Gem in the 1 1/16-mile Ontario Lassie last year; Questuary, who finished last of four in the Selene and will be racing with blinkers for the first time; Wedded Woman, who is going turf-to-dirt and making her first start since the Gulfstream meeting; and Executive Flight, a surprise entrant who ran third in the Lady Angela.

Our Madison is cross-entered in the $100,000 Alywow, a 6 1/2 furlong turf race for 3-year-old fillies on Sunday.

Feathered Diamond, who had been expected to be a second Woodbine Oaks starter for Sam-Son, was an 11th-hour no-show.

"She came back lame in her hind end, this morning," said Frostad, adding that Feathered Diamond's problem was detected just before her Thursday gallop.

The field

Woodbine Oaks
Purse: $500,000; 1 1/8 miles

1QuestuaryR. Sabourin15-1
2KimchiP. Husbands12-1
3Sweet BreannaJ. Stein8-1
4Like A GemR. Landry5-2
5Wedded WomanJ. Jones8-1
6SeductivelyG. Olguin3-1
7London SnowS. Bahen15-1
8Executive FlightJ. McAleney20-1
9Strike SoftlyT. Kabel9-2
10Our MadisonC. Fraser20-1

* All starters carry 121 pounds
* Blinkers off: Kimchi
* Blinkers on: Questuary
* Track odds
* Television: Sunday, The Score, 4:30 -5:30 p.m.