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Mekong Melody seeks Flaming Page repeat
ETOBICOKE, Ontario – The $100,000 Flaming Page, an overnight stakes for fillies and mares, will be run for the seventh time here at Woodbine on Sunday. And, it’s quite possible that the winning trainer will be experiencing a sense of déjà vu as Roger Attfield, Michael Doyle, Mark Casse, and Mike Keogh have combined to account for five of the first six runnings of the Flaming Page and each will be represented in this year’s 10-horse field.
Attfield, who sent out Noble Stella to capture the Flaming Page in 2005, will saddle Mekong Melody as she seeks her second straight win in the 1 1/2-mile turf race.
Doyle, who watched The Niagara Queen show the way in the 2007 Flaming Page, will be represented by Happy Clapper and Screen Legend.
Casse, who accounted for the 2008 Flaming Page with Lickety Lemon, will be saddling Jelly Roll.
Keogh, whose Murani denied Noble Stella a double in 2006, has First Circle in the Flaming Page this time around.
Mekong Melody, an Irish-bred 5-year-old owned by David Egan, is the one to beat.
Making her first start since last year’s Flaming Page, Mekong Melody scored by a nose over stablemate Ave in the Grade 2 Dance Smartly over 1 1/8 miles of turf here July 18.
In her only subsequent appearance, Mekong Melody was well-regarded at 6-1 in Saratoga’s Grade 2 Ballston Spa but faltered to finish last of 10 in that 1 1/16-mile turf race.
“There was a mess-up at the gate,” said Attfield. “That got her upset, and she broke badly.”
Patrick Husbands, who rode Mekong Melody for the first time in the Dance Smartly, regains the mount.
Happy Clapper, the only 3-year-old in the Flaming Page field, has discovered her niche in route racing.
After finishing second in the Wonder Where, a 1 1/4-mile turf race for Canadian-bred 3-year-old fillies, Happy Clapper was a convincing winner when competing under first-level allowance terms in an off-the-turf race at 1 1/2 miles. Screen Legend was a distant third in the same route.
Slade Callaghan has his regular call aboard Happy Clapper and Justin Stein retains the mount on Screen Legend.
Jelly Roll was a smart winner when competing under second-level allowance terms over 1 1/8 miles of turf. She will be making her stakes debut under regular rider Corey Fraser.
First Circle tired after setting the pace in her last two starts, finishing last of six in the Dance Smartly and ending sixth of nine when facing males in the Halton, a yearling sales stakes over one mile of turf. Emile Ramsammy gets the return call.
The Flaming Page also has attracted a shipper in Liberally, who has been based at Saratoga for Tom Albertrani.
Liberally is coming off a third-place finish in the restricted Waya over 1 1/2 miles of turf at Saratoga on Aug. 9 and should make her presence felt as
Eurico Rosa Da Silva picks up the mount.
Impossible Time preps for stakes
Impossible Time had the work of the day on Friday as she breezed five furlongs in 58.40 seconds, the fastest of 26 works at the distance on the main track. Regular rider Jono Jones was in the irons.
Her next goal is the $125,000 Classy N Smart, a 1 1/16 mile main-track race for Ontario-sired fillies and mares here Oct. 6.
Impossible Time, a homebred 5-year-old who is owned by Charles Fipke and trained by Roger Attfield, had a break on the farm after capturing the restricted Victoriana over 1 1/16 miles of turf here Aug. 15.
“She’s right back on target,” said Attfield. “She’ll just cruise up to that stake now.”
Two look to improve in Overskate
Dancingalltheway breezed four furlongs in 50.80 on the training track here Friday in preparation for Wednesday’s $125,000 Overskate. Carl DeFreitas, who works as an exercise rider for trainer Lorne Richards, was aboard.
Dancingalltheway will be making his third straight appearance in a stakes race for Ontario-sired 3-year-olds and upward in the seven-furlong Overskate.
After becoming a stakes winner in the six-furlong New Providence here June 9, Dancingalltheway finished eighth in the 6 1/2-furlong Shepperton on Aug. 4.
“He just didn’t run his race that day,” said Richards. “He prefers six furlongs, but he’s won going long and there hasn’t been anything else for him.”
Sand Cove, coming off a third-place finish in the 1 1/16-mile Elgin here Sept. 6, also will be looking to rebound in the Overskate.
A 5-year-old trained by Attfield, Sand Cove was freshened up on the farm following that Sept. 6 yearling sales stakes.
On Thursday, Sand Cove breezed four furlongs in 49.00 on the main track.
Don’s Folly and Drunken Love finished a neck apart when first and second in the six-furlong Kenora, another yearling sales stakes on the Sept. 6 program, and also are to return in the Overskate.
Victorian Queen best of five stakes
The Overskate will be one of a possible five stakes here next week.
The $125,000 Victorian Queen, a six-furlong race for Ontario-sired 2-year-old fillies, will be Saturday’s headliner. The $100,000 Belle Geste, a seven-furlong turf race for Ontario-foaled fillies and mares, also will be offered but is an overnight stakes and will require at least five entrants to be carded.
Sunday will feature a doubleheader of the Grade 3 $150,000 Durham, a 1 1/8-mile race for 3-year-olds and upward, and the $125,000 Carotene, a 1 1/8-mile turf race for Ontario-foaled 3-year-old fillies.
McAleney appeals suspension
Jockey Jim McAleney, cited by the stewards for “raising his hand above his head while urging his mount Thunder Ball” during last Sunday’s ninth race, has appealed a one-day suspension and $300 fine. Thunder Ball finished third, a head and a neck behind the winner. The offense was the second for McAleney within a one-year period from his first offense.
* The Woodbine Entertainment Group was named the winner of the 2010 simulcast award at the International Simulcasting Conference in Clearwater, Fla., this week. The award, inaugurated in 1997, also was won by WEG in 2004, 2006, and 2007. Judging, which is based on a submission of one complete race presentation including pre-race features, graphics, and wrap-up, takes into account technical merit, quality, and the dissemination of wagering information as well as overall appeal.