08/02/2006 11:00PM

Midnight Shadow hard to handle


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Midnight Shadow should be a prohibitive favorite in Saturday's $125,000 Nandi Stakes, a five-furlong dash for Ontario-sired 2-year-old fillies at Woodbine.

Midnight Shadow won her maiden impressively second time out, earning an 87 Beyer Speed Figure in a five-furlong Ontario-sired maiden special. She came back to take the five-furlong Shady Well Stakes on the inner track by a neck, earning an 82 Beyer under jockey Ray Sabourin.

Trainer Bob Tiller said he believes Midnight Shadow is better than what she showed in the Shady Well.

"There was another fast horse in there, and Ray didn't let that one get away," Tiller said. "The track wasn't really favoring speed that day."

Tiller said the absence of Midnight Shadow's favorite pony became a problem before the race.

"Her pony has helped her settle down, especially when going to the paddock and to the post," Tiller said. "There was a letdown in communications that day, and when the groom took her over, the pony never showed up at the gap. By the time she hit the paddock, she was quite upset. We saddled her in the rubber stall and were able to leave her in there. She was fine after that."

Tiller said he was content with Midnight Shadow's half-mile drill in 49.80 seconds over a muddy training track July 29. The work was in company with stakes winner Spread the News.

"I think she's doing real well," Tiller said. "As long as she composes herself going to the paddock and around the gate, she should run her race."

Grandy's Glory, Only If Split, and Siwa are also in the six-horse field.

Grandy's Glory won her maiden second time out over Only If Split, leading virtually all the way going five furlongs over the inner track.

"She broke good from a bad post, but we didn't really want to send her like that," said trainer Mike DePaulo. "[Only If Split] came running right up to her, and it looked like she was going to be in trouble, but she kicked on."

DePaulo said he believes Grandy's Glory wants more ground than five furlongs.

"She's a long, lean, leggy daughter of Bold Executive," DePaulo said. "She's looks like she'll go a lot farther. I wish this race was farther."

Siwa led throughout her lone outing in a 4 1/2-furlong maiden event over a sloppy track June 3, scoring by three lengths with a 77 Beyer. Trainer Kevin Attard has put Siwa on Lasix for the Nandi.