06/28/2007 12:00AM

Monashee carving out her place in history


VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Clearly, 125 pounds wasn't enough to slow down a local freight train named Monashee in the Strawberry Morn Stakes at Hastings this past Sunday.

Spotting 12 pounds to the second-place finisher, Starlite Strike, Monashee just toyed with the four horses she faced, cruising to an easy 5 1/2-length win.

The public certainly didn't think the 125 pounds would be a deterrent, sending her off at odds that resulted in a $2.20 win payoff.

According to her jockey, Dave Wilson, it was more like a public workout than a race.

"When you get an opening quarter of almost 25 seconds and a half in 49, well, they aren't going to beat her," said Wilson of Monashee, who is trained by Tracy McCarthy. "If I had gone that slow in a workout in the morning, Tracy wouldn't have been very happy with me."

Wilson was also the rider of the horse that the race was named after, Strawberry Morn.

"Monashee is certainly one of the best fillies or mares I've ever ridden," he said. "It's hard to say who was better, especially considering that Monashee just hasn't been tested here."

Monashee should get a real test soon. There's absolutely no chance that a stakes race for fillies and mares will fill at Hastings if Monashee is involved. Well, not at least until the Grade 3, $125,000 Ballerina Breeders' Cup Oct. 13. Her connections were weighing their options, and also asking for anyone's opinion of where they should go with her.

"It's a tough call, and there are lots of things we're considering," said McCarthy. "What would you do with her? We could keep her in training here and run in a race in Alberta or possibly try Emerald Downs. Or, we're looking at either California or Woodbine."

One thing McCarthy was clear on is that this will be Monashee's last year of racing, and that she will be bred in Kentucky in 2008. With that in mind, McCarthy was considering a trip back east for Monashee in the fall before sending her to Kentucky next year. Before heading east, though, Monashee would run one last time at Hastings in the Ballerina.

"Ultimately, we want to go for a fall campaign in Toronto and possibly New York," she said. "After that we'll send her to the breeding shed in Kentucky."

According to McCarthy, Monashee has quite a few quirks to her, and because of her temperament, McCarthy will be going with her when she ultimately ships out of town. Complicating the matter is that McCarthy is recovering from surgery. She recently had four vertebrae in her neck fused.

"I'm coming around, but I'm not sure if I'm ready to travel right now," she said. "The doctor said it would take about 3 1/2 months for recovery time, but I'm a racetracker, and when they say three months I can get back in a month and a half."

"Monashee can easily melt down, and I don't want to send her to someone else to train. Here, it's been very nice, because everyone is willing to work with her. From the people in the test barn to the people that administer the Lasix shots, they really go out of their way to make her comfortable."

Monashee, who is owned by Canmor Farms, has now won seven stakes in a row and has earned $511,330 in her career. She certainly ranks as one of the best fillies or mares to have ever run at Hastings.

Spaghetti Mouse at right distance

Older horses will be stretching out to 1 1/8 miles in the Grade 3 Lieutenant Governors on Sunday, and that means Spaghetti Mouse will be a major player in one of the highlights of the Hastings stakes schedule.

Trained by Ned Sams, Spaghetti Mouse becomes a much better horse when he goes nine furlongs. The first time he went 1 1/8 miles, he ran a huge race to upset the Grade 3 British Columbia Derby in 2005. Last year he won 3 of his 4 starts going 1 1/8 miles, and the only loss he has had in his career at the distance was a very good second-place finish to Canadian champion True Metropolitan in the Sir Winston Churchill.

Spaghetti Mouse paid $37.50 when he won the Lieutenant Governors in 2006. This year his form is much better, and he figures to either be the favorite or the second choice behind Forceful Intention, who led from start to finish to win the John Longden 6000 by 3 1/4 lengths May 27.

Spaghetti Mouse, who was heavily favored, chased Forceful Intention the whole race but couldn't make up any ground in the stretch and had to settle for second.

"He's just a much better horse when he goes a mile and an eighth," said Sams. "I think it's because he doesn't have to be rushed to get into a good position going into the first turn. If you ask him early, he'll get on the bit, and it can be hard to get him to relax after that."

Spaghetti Mouse looked very relaxed when he worked five furlongs in 1:00.60 with Dave Wilson aboard June 9.

"He usually just does what he wants to anyway, so it was nice to see him settle into his work without Davey having to fight him," said Sams. "Obviously he's going to have to catch Forceful Intention, but I think the extra distance will certainly work in his favor."