05/21/2002 11:00PM

At least two fillies from Selene still targeting Oaks


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - See How She Runs took the money in Monday's Grade 1 Selene at Woodbine and scooted back to Texas, probably never to be seen again in these parts.

But the 1 1/16-mile Selene still had important local implications, as it represented the final step toward the Labatt Woodbine Oaks for the three Canadian-breds in the field.

Ginger Gold, beaten 5 1/2 lengths as the second-place finisher, and Mulrainy, who ended another length back in third, both will proceed to the $500,000 Oaks, a 1 1/8-mile race on June 8.

Spanish Decree, who finished sixth but was beaten only four lengths for second, remains under Oaks consideration.

Last year's Sovereign Award-winning 2-year-old filly, Ginger Gold was making just her second start this season after opening with a second-place finish in the seven-furlong Fury.

"I was hoping she'd come off the pace a little bit," said trainer Sid Attard, who had watched Ginger Gold participate in a three-way duel for the lead with Mulrainy to her inside and Whiletheiron'shot to her outside. "But as soon as the gate opens she wants to go."

Still, Attard had to be pleased with the effort of Ginger Gold, owned by the Jim Dandy Stable of Mel Lawson, who now heads to the Oaks as the favorite.

"I think that race is going to do her good, for the Oaks," said Attard. "I don't need to train her too hard; she's fit now."

Patrick Husbands has ridden Ginger Gold in her two starts this year, but Richard Dos Ramos will be reunited with the filly on Oaks Day.

Dos Ramos, who returned to action last Friday after being out for almost eight weeks with a broken bone in his ankle, rode Ginger Gold to three stakes wins in her four outings last season.

Mulrainy, owned by the Wings of Erin Farm of Les Roberts and trained by Tom O'Keefe, was rebounding Monday from a sub-par fourth-place finish in the Fury.

"She came out of the race super," said O'Keefe. "She's a little tired, but that's the way you'd want her. You know she got a lot out of the race; it sets her up for the Oaks."

While O'Keefe also would have preferred that his filly had taken a more relaxed approach in the early going, he believed apprentice jockey Chantal Sutherland made the correct decision.

"We learned last year that when this filly wants to go like that, you've got to let her go," said O'Keefe. "She broke so alertly, there was basically no other choice."

Spanish Decree made a big move on the outside to loom into contention around the final turn but flattened out in the stretch.

"She didn't run too bad," said Frank Huarte, the owner, trainer, and breeder of Spanish Decree. "I'll keep my eyes open - if everything goes good, and she works really good, she could run in the Oaks."

Distant Roar seems fine

Distant Roar, who could be Sam-Son Farm and trainer Mark Frostad's only remaining option for the Oaks, worked five furlongs in 59.80 seconds here Tuesday in company with Queen's Plate hopeful Mountain Beacon.

Distant Roar, who arrived here off her first lifetime win at Keeneland, lost her rider at the start of the Fury and then was a late vet scratch after acting up in the gate prior to a scheduled allowance appearance May 15.

"She's been back to the gate since, and was fine," said Frostad. "But I've got to take her back a number of times."

Fleet of Foot, a Sam-Son filly who graduated impressively over six furlongs in her first lifetime appearance last Wednesday, is eligible for the Oaks but is not scheduled to participate.

Mountain Beacon, who also won his maiden at the recent Keeneland meeting but disappointed in his local debut, is nominated to the Plate Trial.

What a Breeze ailing

What a Breeze, winner of the 1 1/16-mile Ontario Lassie here last fall, has suffered a serious setback to her already fragile Oaks hopes.

The filly, owned by the Hopefield Farm of Stan Dodson and trained by Earl Barnett, finished last of eight when making her seasonal bow in a six-furlong allowance here last Sunday and came out of the race with a respiratory infection.

"We're not sure what the prognosis will be," said Barnett, who earlier had entered What a Breeze only to see the races not fill. "The vets have been treating her; we're very cautious."

River Boat ready for comeback

River Boat, another Huarte homebred, will make his first start of the year in Saturday's Connaught Cup, the first turf stakes of the season.

"He worked very, very well last Saturday," said Huarte, who sent out River Boat to drill five furlongs in 1:00.80 on the main track under jockey Jake Barton. "He galloped out very strong."

River Boat, now 9 years old, also made his first start of 2001 in the Connaught Cup, finishing second.

* Numerous Times, Canada's champion of turf horse of 2001 after winning the Atto Mile for the Committee Stable, has recovered from a throat infection that forced him to pass up the Connaught Cup. He breezed five furlongs in 1:04 over a yielding surface as the turf training track belatedly opened Wednesday.

* Wake at Noon breezed three furlongs in 35 seconds Tuesday and headed out Wednesday for Belmont Park and Monday's Met Mile.