08/27/2009 11:00PM

Lady Shakespeare ready for stakes win


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Lady Shakespeare is certainly one of the best horses at Woodbine never to have won a stakes, and she will have a golden opportunity to turn the trick in Sunday's $150,000 Ontario Colleen. The one-mile event for 3-year-old fillies has also lured the unbeaten Carem Crescent, who is trying the grass for the first time.

Lady Shakespeare captured her debut last August, but she struggled over soft ground when she was sixth as the favorite in her only other 2-year-old outing, the Grade 3 Natalma Stakes.

Since dropping her season opener at Keeneland, Lady Shakespeare has won each of her three starts here, including a first-level allowance on the Polytrack. She cleared the second allowance condition in a subsequent optional claimer on the grass, and won the allowance prep for the Colleen following a two-month layoff.

Trainer Roger Attfield sent Lady Shakespeare to Saratoga for the July 31 Lake George Stakes, but he scratched her when that Grade 2 race was taken off the grass.

"There's no question that she's a good filly," said Attfield."She had a messed-up week when she went to Saratoga. She was in the detention barn, and came back here, and then I shortened her back to a mile and she still got it done."

Lady Shakespeare breezed a half-mile in 48.60 seconds on Wednesday under jockey Emma Wilson.

Carem Crescent won each of her three starts here on the Polytrack, including the seven-furlong Duchess Stakes. Trainer Malcolm Pierce said he has few clues as to how she will handle the grass.

"I would have worked her on it last weekend, but the turf training course was closed," said Pierce. "She acts like a really nice filly who can handle anything, but you never know until you try it. She's going to have to run hard, because Lady Shakespeare is a pretty nice filly."

The Arlington-based Hooh Why is also new to grass. She won the Grade 1 Ashland Stakes at Keeneland in April, and beat an excellent field here May 17 in the La Lorgnette Stakes before ending up fourth in the Grade 3 Iowa Oaks on the dirt.

Hooh Why has a very low Tomlinson turf rating of 179.