07/25/2001 11:00PM

Irish Line's first win can be a stakes


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Trainer Glenn Magnusson, who is no stranger to winning a stakes race with a maiden, will try to turn the trick Saturday at Woodbine with Irish Line in the $134,625 Nandi, a six-furlong dash for Ontario-sired 2-year-old fillies.

Magnusson, who won the 1995 Nandi with first-time starter Northern Hilite, sent out Irish Line to finish second when she debuted over a sloppy track June 3. She was a flat third in another maiden special two weeks later, but is coming off a respectable third-place finish in the Shady Well Stakes for Canadian-breds.

"She ran very green in her first start," Magnusson pointed out. "She was all over the track. She had to go on Lasix after her second start," he noted, intimating that the filly bled in her encore. "She was laying third and looked like she was going to be second, but she hung the last eighth of a mile."

Irish Line's effort in the 5 1/2-furlong Shady Well was better than it appears. First-time starter Ginger Gold made a right-hand turn at the break and bumped hard with Irish Line. Ginger Gold went on to post a two-length victory, with Irish Line 3 1/2 lengths behind. After a long inquiry regarding the start, the stewards let the order of finish stand.

"She broke off stride," said Magnusson. "I don't know if she got bumped, but she did get carried out. She didn't get knocked down, but there was no question that she lost some ground, and then had to rush up to get into a [stalking] position. I was tickled to death that she was able to finish third. I thought the winner's number would come down, but it didn't."

Magnusson was pleased with Irish Line's work on July 19, when she went five-eighths in 1:00.60 under jockey Steven Bahen. "It was an awesome work," he said. "She was by herself, and did it very easily."

Irish Line is owned by Gary Vasey and Barry Merrill.

Completing the Nandi lineup

are Parisia, Asfarasyoucansea, Galadriel, Matter of Law, Rosharon, Jade Eyed, Starship Gold, and Barbarella.

Jade Eyed should be well-backed off her five-length triumph over $80,000 maidens in her July 12 debut, in which she ran six furlongs in 1:13.20.

Trainer Kevin Attard was caught off guard with the effort by Jade Eyed, who was let go at 28-1.

"She had trained okay heading into the race." Attard said. "I was hoping for a good performance, but I didn't think she'd win like she did."

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