05/30/2007 11:00PM

Katy Smiles tries to snap slump


Katy Smiles will face seven older fillies and mares when she defends her title in the $45,000 Hoist Her Flag Stakes at Canterbury Park.

Katy Smiles, a 5-year old who has won 5 of 8 of her local starts, has not won since her 2o1/4-length triumph in this six-furlong race last year.

After finishing second to the formidable Victorina in the Princess of Palms Stakes in her seasonal debut at Turf Paradise, Katy Smiles was shipped to Santa Anita, where she suffered a tough trip from the rail in the Grade 3 Las Flores Handicap. Katy Smiles returned to Turf Paradise in April but she disappointed as the odds-on favorite in the Excess Energy Stakes. Shipped to Canterbury the first week of May, Katy Smiles has shown signs that she may reprise her old form with a series of eye-catching works locally.

Owner-trainer Doug Oliver has an upset possibility in Blumin Beauty, a Minnesota-bred filly who turned the tables on Katy Smiles when she captured the Excess Energy in April. In her most recent outing, Blumin Beauty overcame some traffic problems at the start to finish third in the Lady Slipper Stakes while facing statebred rivals. Blumin Beauty's off-the-pace style dovetails nicely in this field loaded with pressing types.

Shimmering Sunset, third in the Prairie Rose Stakes last month at Prairie Meadows, might have the best early speed. The winner of the Prairie Rose, Miss Macy Sue, returned last weekend to capture the Grade 3 Winning Colors Stakes at Churchill Downs.