Updated on 09/15/2011 2:24PM

Lady Shari can breathe easy again


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Dave Cotey had mixed feelings about Lady Shari's first trip out of town.

Cotey, who trains the 2-year-old Lady Shari and is the co-owner along with Hugh Galbraith and Derek Ball, initially had to be reasonably happy with her second-place finish in the $100,600 Polly Drummond Stakes at Delaware Park on Oct. 14.

But Cotey, after conferring with rider Constant Montpellier and learning the results of a postrace veterinary examination, came away believing that Lady Shari definitely should have won the 1 1/16-mile race.

"Constant said she was literally galloping by those horses, turning for home," Cotey said. "But then her head went up in the air; he went from having a ton of horse to absolutely nothing."

An examination revealed that Lady Shari's throat was clogged up with mucus and blood and extremely irritated, which suggested that she had displaced her soft palate during the race.

A course of antibiotics cleared up the infection and a minor throat operation was performed Oct. 22.

Wednesday, the filly worked for the first time since that procedure, going four furlongs in 48.40 seconds over a fast training track with Montpellier in the irons.

"I wanted to go real easy on her," Cotey said. "She was just galloping."

If all proceeds according to plan, Lady Shari will be at Aqueduct on Nov. 24 for the Grade 2 Demoiselle, a $200,000 race for 2-year-old fillies over nine furlongs.

A Kentucky-bred by Judge T C, Lady Shari was purchased as a yearling for just $10,000 at Fasig-Tipton Kentucky's October sale.

And after beginning her career in the upper claiming ranks she has blossomed since stretching out around two turns, winning her maiden over 1 1/16 miles here Sept. 8 and doubling up in the Grade 1 Mazarine at the same distance two weeks later.

A victory in the Demoiselle would make Lady Shari a winner of both Grade 1 and Grade 2 stakes with a bankroll of approximately $300,000, which ordinarily would give her the inside track for the division's Sovereign Award.

Nevertheless, Lady Shari faces two hurdles in that scenario.

One is the filly Ginger Gold, the front-runner for the title with three stakes wins in four starts and earnings of $362,339. Ginger Gold was nothing short of sensational in her last two starts, winning the Grade 3 Natalma over a mile of turf and the restricted Princess Elizabeth over 1 1/16 miles on the main track.

The other is the timing of the Demoiselle, which will be run approximately 40 hours before the voting deadline, Nov. 26.

To be eligible for Sovereign Award consideration, horses must have made at least three starts in Canada this year before Nov. 19. Ballots will be sent out to 72 voters across Canada on Nov. 21 and must be returned by fax or mail by 9 a.m. Monday, Nov. 26. The Jockey Club of Canada, which runs the Sovereign Awards, says that the time required to tabulate the ballots and finalize preparations for the awards ceremony necessitates the deadline.

Sweetest Thing will run at Aqueduct

Another Sovereign Award candidate is slated to see action at Aqueduct this Saturday as Sweetest Thing, a 3-year-old filly trained by Roger Attfield, breezed five furlongs in 1:01 here Wednesday morning and then shipped out for the Grade 2 Long Island Handicap.

Sweetest Thing, who also is owned by Attfield in partnership with Mickey Canino and Bill Werner, will be ridden by Richard Migliore in the $150,000 Long Island, a 1 1/2-mile race for fillies and mares.

A strong performance there could give her the edge for the filly and mare turf award, an honor that was bestowed upon her former stablemate, Free Vacation, in 1999.

"I think she's quite a bit better filly than Free Vacation," Attfield said.

Sweetest Thing, following in the footsteps of Free Vacation, defeated males here in the 1 1/2-mile Breeders' and fellow 3-year-old fillies in the 1 1/4-mile Wonder Where.

But in her subsequent start she finished ninth of 10 under jockey Jim McAleney in Keeneland's Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge, a 1 1/8-mile grass race for 3-year-old fillies.

"Jimmy didn't feel she handled the course," Attfield said. "It was sort of rough, and breaking away.

"And she was going onto that really tight track, after running on this big, huge sweeping turf course. In hindsight, I probably should have gone to the Pebbles in New York. The Belmont turf course is bigger; more like this one."

Following the Long Island, Sweetest Thing will head down to Attfield's winter base at Payson Park and could continue her campaign in Florida.

Free Vacation, meanwhile, made her last start for Attfield, Canino, and Werner here last month and sold for $475,000 to Japanese interests at Keeneland on Tuesday.

Highland Legacy points toward Sir Barton

Highland Legacy, Canada's champion 2-year-old male last year but plagued by various ailments this season and away since finishing ninth in the June 24 Queen's Plate, worked six furlongs in 1:16 under jockey Gary Boulanger on Wednesday.

Steve Owens, who trains Highland Legacy for the Empress Stable of his wife, Beverly, and mother-in-law, Mildred Lewis, is hoping the gelding can make up for some of the lost time in the $125,000 Sir Barton, a 1 1/16-mile race for Ontario-sired 3-year-old colts and geldings here Nov. 24.