04/16/2002 11:00PM

Miss Noire starts on path of Fury

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ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Miss Noire, third in the Sovereign Award voting for champion 2-year-old filly last year, will begin her 3-year-old campaign against older fillies and mares in Friday's Woodbine feature for $80,000 optional claimers.

Miss Noire beat Mulrainy and Forum Search when she won her debut July 21, but finished up the track three weeks later in the Ontario Debutante, a difficult open stakes. She rallied from just off the pace to win her third start in the restricted Muskoka Stakes, and followed it up with a runner-up finish behind a sharp Platel in an allowance prep for the Fanfreluche Stakes.

In the Oct. 21 Fanfreluche, a six-furlong sprint for Canadian-breds, Miss Noire went right to the front and never looked back, scoring by 6 1/2 lengths while earning a Beyer Speed Figure of 82.

Miss Noire ran evenly to end up fourth while facing open company in her final 2001 outing in the seven-furlong Glorious Song Stakes.

Trainer Emile Allain had planned on running Miss Noire in an allowance prep for the Fury Stakes, but the race failed to fill on Friday.

"We jumped into this race when the prep didn't go," Allain said. "We have to start her off somewhere. She's going to the Fury."

The Fury, a seven-furlong race for Canadian-bred 3-year-old fillies, is on May 5. Allain said the $500,000 Labatt Woodbine Oaks on June 8 isn't being seriously considered for Miss Noire at this time.

Allain is content with Miss Noire's progress this spring. "She's been training very well," he said. "She's had a bunch of works, but there's nothing like a race to tighten them up."

Ray Sabourin, who has ridden Miss Noire in all six of her starts, has the mount again for Harlequin Ranches.

Completing the field for the seven-furlong race are Miss Benny, Rich Mist, Deadly Vices, Cassia, and Gorilla My Dreams.

Cassia, a profitable claim by trainer John Cardella, is the lone runner in the group to have competed at the current Woodbine meet. Cassia closed from just off the pace to upset favored Wager's Joy by a nose in a $62,500 optional claimer March 31. A 5-year-old with nearly $200,000 in the bank, Cassia had a win and a second late in 2001 after Cardella claimed her for $32,000 in October.

Todd Kabel retains the mount on Cassia, a nicely bred daughter of Pleasant Colony.

High Wire Glory and stakes-placed Bravely head the third race on the card, a seven-furlong maiden special weight event.

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