09/30/2010 11:38AM

Lucky Be Me carries stable's hopes at Woodbine

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ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Trainer Bill Tharrenos looked to have a strong one-two punch for Saturday’s $125,000 Victorian Queen Stakes at Woodbine, but he’s running just one of his two stable stars in the sprint for Ontario-sired 2-year-old fillies, Lucky Be Me.

Tharrenos captured the Nandi Stakes in August with the speedy Tree Pose, who could have been favored in the Victorian Queen, but he opted to bypass the six-furlong event with her.

“We’re giving her a little break right now,” said Tharrenos. “She had a little issue that we’re dealing with. She’ll be fine.”

Lucky Be Me romped on the lead in her debut, which came in a slow 4 1/2-furlong maiden dash May 15. Following a two-month layoff, she finished a distant fifth behind unbeaten Roxy Gap and Tree Pose in the rapidly run Shady Well, a 5 1/2-furlong stakes for Ontario-breds.

Lucky Be Me subsequently ran third against Ontario-sired stock in the six-furlong Nandi, and then turned the tables on Tree Pose in the Muskoka Stakes, for graduates of local yearling sales. She dueled with Tree Pose throughout the final furlong of the seven-furlong Muskoka, and prevailed by a nose after looking beaten with a sixteenth left.

Tharrenos said the distance change Saturday isn’t ideal for Lucky Be Me, and he has modified her training to help prepare her for the turnback.

“We’ve changed her program a little, to put a little more speed into her,” Tharrenos explained. “She’s a tough customer. She’s getting better and better. Her last two works, [jockey Richard Dos Ramos] didn’t even move on her. She’s been training that well.”

Tharrenos said the local 2-year-old filly division has gotten tougher since the Sept. 6 Muskoka.

“There’s new up-and-coming 2-year-olds who are starting to show up, and I think the Victorian Queen is going to be an exciting race,” Tharrenos said. “I think [Lucky Be Me] might still be the horse to beat, and she’s got the experience. She’ll do whatever you want. She doesn’t have to be on the lead.”

Tharrenos said he plans on running Lucky Be Me in the $250,000 Princess Elizabeth Stakes at 1 1/16 miles here Oct. 30.

“I think the farther she goes, the better she’s going to be,” Tharrenos said.

Trainer Terry Jordan, who won last year’s Victorian Queen with Oistins, entered the likely pacemaker, Medabuck, who was supplemented at a cost of $2,500.