06/12/2009 12:00AM

Midst can buck trend


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - The $150,000 Victoria Stakes, a five-furlong dash for 2-year-olds, hasn't been won by a filly since Honky Tonk Tune in 1994, but Midst could end that streak Sunday at Woodbine.

Midst made both of her starts around a gradual turn over 4 1/2 furlongs at Keeneland in April. Her second-place finish in her debut came behind Aegean, who returned to beat the boys in the Grade 3 Kentucky Juvenile Stakes.

Trainer Mark Casse said Midst didn't have the smoothest of trips in her opener.

"She broke a touch slow, and then she rushed up," said Casse. "The filly who won was really impressive."

Midst subsequently won her maiden by 4 1/4 lengths in a quick clocking of 50.37 seconds.

Casse has a great deal of admiration for Midst, a daughter of freshman sire Closing Argument, runner-up to Giacomo in the 2005 Kentucky Derby.

"From day one when we got her this winter, she's just been exceptional," said Casse. "I love her a lot. Whatever you do with her, she just keeps going. I don't think that she's just fast."

If all goes well, Casse said he hopes to run Midst in a stakes at Saratoga this summer.

Casse also entered Sir Heart Throb, who graduated at first asking in a slowly run 4 1/2-furlong maiden special here May 10.

The 103rd running of the Victoria has lured three American shippers: Liquid Fire, Bricklayer, and U Appeal to Me.

Liquid Fire, based at Keeneland with trainer Wesley Ward, won his maiden in the slop at Churchill Downs on May 6, earning a 61 Beyer Speed Figure.

The Belmont-based Bricklayer received a Beyer Figure of 63 while winning his only start at Aqueduct in April. Trainer Frank Alexander is putting the Dogwood Stable-owned runner on Lasix.

U Appeal to Me only got a 41 Beyer when he earned his diploma on the Polytrack at Arlington May 28. He is trained by Michael Stidham.

Fearless Cowboy made up some ground after breaking awkwardly in his two-furlong debut, and then won his maiden going 4 1/2 furlongs over Dant, who's also in the Victoria lineup.