10/29/2010 12:51PM

La Rocca, Indian Apple Is to face off after layoffs in Ontario Fashion


ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Indian Apple Is and La Rocca will both return from a layoff Sunday at Woodbine in the six-furlong, $150,000 Ontario Fashion Stakes, with the longer Bessarabian Stakes in mind.

Indian Apple Is has won 2 of 5 outings this year, including the seven-furlong Sweet Briar Too Stakes July 1.

Indian Apple Is was entered in the restricted Belle Geste Stakes Oct. 2, but trainer Bob Tiller said owner Frank DiGiulio Jr. wasn’t comfortable with running her over a turf course labeled good that day, so he scratched her.

“He’s had some bad luck with good horses on the grass,” said Tiller. “She’s a very good filly, and she’s been very good to us.”

Indian Apple Is was entered in the allowance prep for the Fashion, which failed to fill. She has been idle since Sept. 4, when she was a rallying second to Hooh Why in the Grade 3 Seaway Stakes over seven furlongs.

“She’s in really good shape,” said Tiller. “I think she’d prefer a little farther than six furlongs, but she’ll run here and then she’ll run back in the [Bessarabian].”

La Rocca’s lone tally in five starts this year came in the 1 1/16-mile Ontario Matron Stakes here July 25. She has been sidelined since trailing the field as the favorite in the Aug. 21 City of Edmonton Distaff Handicap at Northlands Park.

Trainer Terry Jordan said La Rocca simply didn’t run her race last time out.

“She ran horribly when we took her to Edmonton, and I don’t know the reason why,” Jordan said. “I can’t say it was the dirt, because she went there last year and won on the dirt. I was expecting her to win, or I wouldn’t have taken her all that way. She’s training good now, but she was training good then, too.”

Jordan said he also has the Nov. 21 Bessarabian in mind for La Rocca.

“She’ll be all right at six furlongs, but I think her best distance is probably seven-eighths to a mile,” Jordan said. “My goal is to run her in the [Bessarabian]. Hopefully, we can do a little damage in here.”

American shipper Waccamaw won an optional claimer here July 28, after ending up third in the Sweet Briar Too.

Mullins Beach set a sleepy pace before finishing second in the Belle Geste. She won a six-furlong allowance on Polytrack July 9.