10/03/2005 11:00PM

Key race produces two contenders


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Mona Rose and Velvet Snow, both coming out of a key race that produced two next-out winners, are the principal contenders in Thursday's Woodbine feature, a one-mile turf allowance for fillies and mares.

Mona Rose is winless in five starts this year, but has run several strong races at the meeting. She closed for third when meeting male opposition in a slow-paced classified allowance on July 28, but failed to duplicate that performance in the allowance prep for the Canadian Handicap, finishing sixth of 10.

Mona Rose rallied wide for third in the Grade 2 Canadian, ending up just two lengths shy of victorious Classic Stamp, who had a dream run along the rail. Noble Stella, the fourth-place finisher, came back to take the Flaming Page Stakes in a romp, while the sixth-place finisher, Spotlight, subsequently won an overnight stakes at Delaware.

Jim McAleney, one of Woodbine's hottest riders, picks up the mount on Mona Rose, who is making her second start for trainer Steve Attard.

Velvet Snow, victorious in the 2004 Ontario Damsel Stakes, is also 0 for 5 this year. She was beaten just a length when fourth in the prep for the Canadian, and wound up seventh in the Canadian itself after battling on the lead over a course labeled soft.

Velvet Snow is 2 for 5 going a mile on the grass, and should be dangerous Thursday if the course is firm or good. Corey Fraser will ride her for trainer Bob Tiller, a combination that is 18 for 75 at this meet.

Heyahohowdy hasn't competed since October of last year, when she finished off the board in the Grade 1 E.P. Taylor Stakes. She won 4 of 8 in 2004, including the Zadracarta Stakes, and has captured five stakes during her productive career.

Kabul has run hot and cold this year. She won two money allowances on the grass during the first half of the meeting, but the best she could manage in five stakes outings this year was a fourth in the six-furlong Zadracarta.

Kabul prefers firm turf, so her poor showing over yielding ground in the Aug. 21 Victoriana Stakes is a throwout. She was a fading fifth on the main track last time in the Algoma Stakes.

La Trillium figures to lead the way, with Tamara in close proximity. La Trillium was most recently third in the Grade 3 Seaway Stakes.