07/20/2009 11:00PM

Minshall confident on turf

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Michael Burns
Dance for Us, winner of the Bison City, will get back on turf for Saturday's Wonder Where, the third leg of the triple tiara series for fillies.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Woodbine's two series for Canadian-bred 3-year-olds will be winding up over the next two weekends, with the Wonder Where scheduled for Saturday and the Breeders' on Aug. 2.

Trainer Barbara Minshall thinks she is in with a chance in both races. She plans to send out Dance for Us in the Wonder Where and Parabola in the Breeders'.

The Wonder Where, a 1 1/4-mile turf race, concludes the triple tiara for fillies, which began with the 1 1/8-mile Woodbine Oaks and continued with the 1 1/16-mile Bison City.

The Breeders', at 1 1/2 miles on the grass, follows the Queen's Plate and Prince of Wales in the Canadian Triple Crown.

Dance for Us passed on the Woodbine Oaks, running instead in a first-level allowance over 1 1/16 miles of turf the previous day.

After finishing third there, Dance for Us returned to the main track for the Bison City and prevailed by a nose under new rider Chantal Sutherland.

"She came out of her last race great," said Minshall, who trains the homebred Dance for Us for the Minshall Farm of her stepson Shawn.

Minshall believes the return to turf will be a plus for Dance for Us, despite the loss in her lone try on the surface.

"When we ran her on the turf, we had blinkers on her, which was not a smart thing," Minshall said. "We took them off last time.

"From Day 1, we were thinking of turf racing for her. She did run well and moved well on it."

Minshall also thinks the Wonder Where distance will present no problems.

"She's very rideable, very rateable," Minshall said. "She'll wait for the rider to tell her when to go."

Parabola, who closed out his first campaign with a win in the Kingarvie over 1 1/16 miles, returned this year with the Queen's Plate on his agenda.

But after the gelding finished last in both the seven-furlong Queenston and 1 1/16-mile Marine and came out of the latter race with a severe infection, Minshall abandoned that quest.

Minshall instead entered Parabola in the Charlie Barley, an overnight stakes that was scheduled for a mile on turf on the day prior to the Queen's Plate. Parabola trailed the field again when the race was switched to a mile and 70 yards on the main track.

"It was unfortunate that race came off," Minshall said. "I thought he'd be better on turf."

Minshall got to prove her point on July 8 when Parabola, facing older rivals in a restricted second-level allowance over 1 1/16 miles, rallied strongly to score by a length.

"He got loose in the walking ring before the race," Minshall said. "He's a handful, but he's okay.

"He loved the turf. It took him a while to come around, but he's in great shape right now and he's definitely improving.

"He's another horse that I think can go all day."

Hollywood Hit impresses in local bow

Hollywood Hit, making his first start for owner Peter Redekop and trainer Terry Jordan, ran to his advance notices here last Sunday.

With jockey Jim McAleney in the irons, Hollywood Hit broke alertly and turned back several challengers en route to a 1 1/2-length victory in a first-level allowance over seven furlongs.

The race was the longest to date for Hollywood Hit, who was facing older rivals for the first time after being purchased privately in Texas. His Beyer Speed Figure came back at 96.

"I thought he was going to get caught," said Jordan, looking back on Hollywood Hit's local debut. "Jimmy said he smooched to him and away he went."

Redekop is based in British Columbia, and if all goes well, Hollywood Hit could eventually wind up in the B.C. Derby, a 1 1/8-mile race at Hastings on Sept. 27.

"Jimmy thinks he'd be able to run around the turns out there," said Jordan, who will be looking at a second-level allowance for Hollywood Hit's next performance.

Monty's Best to West Virginia Derby

Monty's Best, a Florida-bred colt trained by Reade Baker, is headed for the Aug. 1 West Virginia Derby.

The field for the 1 1/8-mile West Virginia Derby, which offers Grade 2 status and a purse of $750,000, is expected to include Mine That Bird.

Monty's Best, owned by Jim and Susan Hill, won his maiden over seven furlongs in his second start here last fall and then concluded his campaign with a second-place finish in the Grade 3 Iroquois over one mile at Churchill Downs.

In two appearances here this spring, Monty's Best won a first-level allowance over six furlongs and then rallied from last place in a field of seven to defeat older rivals in a $62,500 claimer/second-level allowance at 1 1/16 miles.

"I realize we're going to be running against the Kentucky Derby winner, but I was really impressed by his last race," Baker said. "He was running against older horses, there was a crawling pace, and he went by them pretty easily. He's in great shape."

Monty's Best worked five furlongs on the training track in 1:00.80 here last Sunday and is scheduled to drill another five furlongs this weekend before shipping to West Virginia on Tuesday.

Eurico Rosa Da Silva, who has been in the irons for Monty's Best's recent scores, has the mount.

Saratoga handicapping seminar

Handicapping author Jim Mazur will be here Saturday to host a one-hour seminar that will focus on handicapping the upcoming Saratoga meeting.

The one-hour session will begin at 11 a.m. on the third floor of the grandstand. Attendees will receive a free copy of Mazur's "The Saratoga Handicapper."

Pre-registration is available at WoodbineEntertainment.com/seminars.