05/14/2006 11:00PM

High Button Shoes bounces back with a win

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Michael Burns Photo Ltd.
High Button Shoes wins the Hendrie on Sunday in her second start of the year. It's her first stakes win.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario - High Button Shoes ran too well to lose when making her seasonal debut in the April 16 Whimsical here at Woodbine, surviving a five-horse speed duel and battling on grimly to lose by a neck to the in-form Abounding Truth.

The apparently grueling effort, which was the first start for High Button Shoes in more than four months, raised the prospect of a serious bounce when she returned in Sunday's $152,000 Hendrie. Instead, High Button Shoes went even better on Sunday, becoming a stakes winner by capturing the Hendrie by a decisive 3 1/2 lengths and giving owner Sam-Son Farm, trainer Mark Frostad, and jockey Todd Kabel the first stakes win of the meet for each.

"She put in so many miles in Florida; she's been training all winter," said Frostad. "I never got an opportunity to run her at Keeneland, so I decided to bring her up here for the Whimsical.

"She probably needed the race. The way she's been training, she's been touting herself pretty well in her last two works."

High Button Shoes, a 4-year-old Kentucky-bred, had shown some talent in her first two seasons but has evidently taken her game to a new height this season.

"She's had some problems, chronic kind of things," said Frostad. "Hopefully, she's over all that and she can go on to better things.

"We've always loved her. She certainly looks the part, and she has lots of ability."

The stakes opportunities become slim for the open filly-mare sprint division from here on in, however. The July 2 Sweet Briar Too, a seven-furlong overnight stakes, is the next opportunity on the main track and it will go only if five runners or more enter. "There's not a whole lot coming up," Frostad said. "We might have to go out of town."

Gold Strike second in return

Gold Strike, Canada's champion 3-year-old filly in 2005, ran second as a slight choice in the Hendrie while making her first start since the Queen's Plate last June 26.

"I was happy with her race," said Reade Baker, who trains Gold Strike for owner Dick Bonnycastle. "It didn't unfold the way we wanted it to. They didn't go quite as fast as we thought early. Then there was no room in the middle, and she had to circle the field."

Gold Strike's next target is the $100,000 Hill 'n' Dale, a 1 1/16-mile race here June 17. Formerly restricted to 3-year-old fillies, the Hill 'n' Dale now is open to fillies and mares.

Main Executive adds to family tree

Main Executive, a son of Bold Executive and Dream Smartly, chalked up another win for the family here on Saturday, winning the $126,200 New Providence under regular rider Richard Dos Ramos.

A 4-year-old gelding owned and bred by Bruno Brothers Farm and trained by Radlie Loney, Main Executive is a full brother to Blonde Executive, a 5-year-old mare who was Canada's champion sprinter in 2004.

Blonde Executive, a multiple stakes winner of 8 of 13 starts and $610,591, retired last summer in order to prepare for her new life as a broodmare. She recently returned from Kentucky after being bred to Silver Deputy.

Main Executive, meanwhile, had won 5 of his first 7 outings, including the 5 1/2-furlong New Providence prep race at Woodbine on April 22 prior to making his stakes debut in the New Providence for Ontario-sired 3-year-olds and upward.

Sent off at almost 5-1 while facing proven stakes competition, Main Executive led throughout en route to a 2 1/4-length victory.

"I knew there were some nice horses in there, but he wasn't a surprise to me," said Loney. "I know the horse. I know what he can do.

"I'm not the kind of person that gets high on a horse. I let them prove it. He was coming into the race in excellent shape."

Loney, who shrewdly capitalized on the Ontario sire stakes program with Blonde Executive, may have to opt for a change of distance if he chooses to follow the same blueprint with Main Executive.

The $125,000 Steady Growth, the next Ontario-sired race in the male division, will be run over 1 1/16 miles here June 10.

"There's no question that he can go two turns, the way he trains and everything," said Loney, adding that he would be discussing the Steady Growth with owners Don and John Bruno. "Everybody who's been on him said he'll have no problem going two turns."

Loney likes Fleets Dream a lot

Clever Executive, a 3-year-old full brother to Blonde Executive and Main Executive, has been working well in preparation for his debut.

"He's about a month away from running," said Loney.

But Loney adopts almost a tone of reverence when asked about Fleets Dream, a 2-year-old out of Dream Smartly who was sired by A Fleets Dancer.

"He's my pride and joy," said Loney, who hopes to unveil Fleets Dream in midsummer. "The way he trains, I have big plans for him."

Deverell rides two winners

Dean Deverell, a 35-year-old apprentice jockey, got his first two Woodbine winners on Sunday's card. Deverell won with Getaway Candidate ($15.80) and Wordly ($24.50), both for trainer Dave Cotey.

Deverell, who began his career with two mounts here April 29, won back-to-back races at Fort Erie last Sunday.