10/29/2007 11:00PM

Monashee making herself at home

EmailETOBICOKE, Ontario - Monashee, who has been utterly dominant at Hastings this season and also been successful in two trips to Northlands Park, now will be looking to showcase her talents at Woodbine.

A Kentucky-bred 5-year-old owned by Canmor Farm and trained by Tracy McCarthy, Monashee is here for the $175,000 Maple Leaf, a 1 1/4-mile race for fillies and mares on Nov. 10.

"She's settling in very nicely," said McCarthy, who also will be making her Woodbine debut.

"She's a little quirky. She's a pretty demanding horse. But, she loves the environment here."

Monashee will be seeking her 12th straight win, all in stakes, and her eighth in as many starts this season in the Maple Leaf.

A victory here would go a long way to solidifying Monashee's claim for a Sovereign Award in her division.

"People have commented that she's had a fairly easy go of it," said McCarthy.

"She came here to prove herself to be a very nice horse and that it doesn't matter where in Canada you're running, if you have qualifications like hers you're deserving of any award in Canada."

Monashee has won 17 of 22 career outings, with 4 of those starts coming in Alberta - three at Northlands Park and one at Stampede Park - and the balance at Hastings in Vancouver, British Columbia.

And, although Monashee has never run on a surface other than dirt or beyond 1 1/8 miles, McCarthy does not expect either the distance or the synthetic footing to be an impediment.

"She's never had a surface she didn't handle," said McCarthy. "She's won on fast, slow, and deep tracks. She has a very efficient way of going.

"And, she's never got tired. I don't think the distance will be an issue, in the least."

Justin Stein, who was Monashee's regular rider at Hastings in 2005 but moved his tack to Woodbine that fall, has the call for the Maple Leaf.

Financingavailable sticking to sprint stakes

Financingavailable, a 6-year-old who was Canada's champion filly or mare last year, had been under consideration for the Maple Leaf but is insttea opting for Saturday's $125,000 Ontario Fashion, a six-furlong race for fillies and mares.

"I did the same thing last year. I was going to go in the Maple Leaf but I changed my mind," said Lorne Richards, who trains Financingavailable.

"I think she'd get a mile and a quarter, but I know she's good at six furlongs, and I don't see any point in throwing something new at her now.

"This way, I don't have to train her as hard. I want to run her next year, and I don't want to drain the tank."

Running Financingavailable in the Ontario Fashion also will give Richards a better time frame with relation to the $150,000 Bessarabian, a seven-furlong race for fillies and mares here Nov. 25.

"I think I've got a better chance to win two races, if I run her in the Fashion," said Richards.

Rebounding from Cup shutout

Woodbine shippers came up empty on last Saturday's Breeders' Cup card at Monmouth Park, as Arravale, Bear Now, and Clearly Foxy failed to bring home a check.

Clearly Foxy fared the best of the three, missing fifth money of $50,000 by just a head in the Juvenile Fillies after trailing the field of 13 along the backstretch.

"She never really had a shot," said Mark Casse, who trains Clearly Foxy.

"I was quite impressed with her being able to finish sixth. I don't think there are many fillies that could have rallied from last on that track."

Clearly Foxy, a Kentucky-bred who had won her first two career outings, including the Grade 3 Natalma over the turf course here at Woodbine, has been sent to Florida and will get at least a month off before joining Casse at Fair Grounds.

"I think she's a really good filly," said Casse. "We're going to see whether she's good enough to make it to the Kentucky Oaks."

Arravale finished seventh of 11 in the Filly and Mare Turf after being carried extremely wide by a bolting Simply Perfect on the second turn of the three-turn race.

"The filly's in great shape, thank heavens," said Mac Benson, who trains Arravale.

"It was a disastrous trip. For $2 million, you'd at least like to have a shot. It was a wasted trip, a waste of time."

Arravale, who was Canada's horse of the year and champion turf female last year, is winless in five starts as a 4-year-old.

"There's not much you can do," said Benson. "her season's boiled down to that race. I hope she'll race next year."

Bear Now tired to finish eighth of 12 in the Distaff after leading the way through most of the first six furlongs.

"She bled, a seven-plus out of 10," said Reade Baker, who trains Bear Now.

"She won't start again this year. She'll end up with me at Palm Meadows."

Baker is looking at Gulfstream's Grade 3, $150,000 Hurricane Bertie, a seven-furlong race for fillies and mares on Feb. 17, as a starting point for Bear Now's 4-year-old campaign.

"That would be a good prep for the Apple Blossom," said Baker, who sent out Bear Now to win 4 stakes and $769,750 in 8 starts this season.

The Grade 1, $500,000 Apple Blossom a 1 1/16-mile race for fillies and mares, will be run at Oaklawn Park on April 5.

Kesagami works for Coronation Futurity

Kesagami, an impressive maiden winner over seven furlongs in his second career start here Oct. 6, breezed five furlongs in 1:04.20 over the training track here Tuesday.

Owned and bred by Mel Lawson and trained by Sid Attard, Kesagami will be stretching out to 1 1/8 miles for Sunday's Coronation Futurity, a $250,000 race for Canadian-bared 2-year-olds.

"He's a nice and relaxed horse," said Attard. "I think he's going to be okay."

Service for Labanowich on Saturday

A memorial service for Ted Labanowich will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday in the backstretch recreation room, adjacent to the track kitchen.

Labanowich, longtime racing writer for the Hamilton Spectator and the Fort Erie correspondent for Daily Racing Form, died following a battle with stomach cancer at age 74 on Oct. 11.