10/13/2008 11:00PM

Mountain Echo looks tough in allowance

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ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Juveniles will be in the spotlight Thursday at Woodbine. There are five 2-year-old races on the nine-race card, and Mountain Echo should be favored in the sixth, a first-level allowance at 6 1/2 furlongs.

Mountain Echo was beaten by double digits in each of her first two outings, but she woke up third time out Aug. 8 with a victory over $32,000 maidens.

Mountain Echo closed strongly for second after a troubled trip, when trainer Tony Mattine moved her up to allowance company Aug. 20. She was a non-threatening third after getting away slowly most recently in another allowance, which was won by the gifted High Mist, who should be among the choices in Saturday's Fanfreluche Stakes.

Jim McAleney, Woodbine's leading jockey, will ride Mountain Echo after a one-race absence.

Cassidys Pride matched the 70 Beyer Speed Figure that Mountain Echo earned last time, when she graduated at first asking in a five-furlong maiden special on Sept. 28.

Trained by Sandra Dominguez, Cassidys Pride is a daughter of hot freshman sire Medaglia d'Oro and Grade 3 Azalea BC Stakes winner Cassidy.

Hooh Why won her opener in July over Arlington's Polytrack before shipping to Presque Isle Downs, where she finished fourth and then second in a pair of 5 1/2-furlong allowances. She is a full sister to Rumbling Cloud, who took the Woodstock Stakes here in April.

Caoutchouc has several of the higher Beyers in the lineup. She was awarded a 69 Beyer when second in a six-furlong dash for $62,500 maidens Sept. 21, and got a 60 last time while winning for $50,000.

Beauty for Ashes made each of her three starts against males on the dirt at Assiniboia Downs. After landing her debut, she ran second in both a 7 1/2-furlong allowance and in the one-mile Winnipeg Futurity. She has yet to crack 50 on the Beyer scale.

Go West G T Go graduated second time out over Ontario-sired maidens, while cutting back from a route to 6 1/2 furlongs.

Rounding out the field is Bold Storm, who wired $20,000 maidens in her debut before ending up second in a $50,000 claimer.

Thursday's first two races are both maiden special weight events at a mile and 70 yards for 2-year-olds.

Shafted, in the first, has worked quickly for trainer Mark Casse, who has a 20 percent strike rate with 2-year-old first-time starters in routes during the past five years.