08/15/2008 11:00PM

Juliet's Spirit stays unbeaten


Juliet's Spirit held off a late surge from After the Applause to prevail by a head in the $151,200 Ontario Debutante Stakes on Saturday at Woodbine.

Juliet's Spirit ($5.40) tracked dueling front-runners Fanci Candi and Petty Things through fast fractions in the six-furlong sprint, and made the lead early in the stretch, opened up by 1 1/2 lengths, then hung on while covering the distance in 1:10.17. C Karma finished 1 1/4 lengths behind After the Applause in third in the eight-horse field of 2-year-old fillies.

"She was a little more ambitious than she was last time," said Jim McAleney, who rode Juliet's Spirit for trainer Steve Asmussen. "She did settle, and I wound up going a little sooner than I wanted to, just because I didn't want to get into a wrestling match with her. She saw that other horse coming. She's just true grit."

Juliet's Spirit, now unbeaten in three starts, earned $90,000 for Padua Stable.

* Serenading, a blue-blooded daughter of A.P. Indy, earned her first stakes victory in the $100,600 Belle Mahone Stakes.

Serenading ($6.70) rallied inside from last under David Clark to win the 1 1/16-mile route by 2 1/4 lengths over My List. Heavily favored Bear Now finished third after tracking a lively pace set by Star Operator.

Serenading, trained by Josie Carroll for owners John and Glen Sikura, covered the distance in 1:43.14.