08/17/2009 11:00PM

Multiple first-timers demand some study


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - There are many fascinating first-time starters on Thursday's Woodbine program, and it will be interesting to see which ones step up and which ones need a race.

The only non-claiming contest on the card is the third, a five-furlong maiden special for 2-year-old fillies. Eleven of the 12 entrants are starting for the first time, and the fact that leading rider Patrick Husbands has landed on McGregor Street is worth noting.

McGregor Street, a homebred owned by Melnyk Racing Stable, is by one of the top sires on the continent, Distorted Humor, who has produced a host of Grade 1 winners, including Funny Cide and Commentator.

McGregor Street is a half-sister to stakes winner So Much More. Her trainer, Malcolm Pierce, has won with 2-year-old first-timers at just a 7-percent clip over the past five years.

Trainer Mark Casse will saddle Entranced, a daughter of 2004 Horse of the Year and freshman sire Ghostzapper, who is 0 for 9 with debuting progeny. Entranced is a half-sister to a pair of 2-year-old debut winners, Grade 3 winner Sharp Impact and stakes-placed Speed Hunter.

The Steve Asmussen-trained Legendary Stacey was working at Arlington before recording three straight five-furlong drills here on the Polytrack. A daughter of Include, Legendary Stacey is out of a stakes-placed debut winner who has thrown the precocious stakes performer Matter of Law.

The modestly bred My Lady A.P. was working bullets over Keeneland's Polytrack before her easy half-mile breeze from the gate here last Friday. Her high-percentage trainer, Lorne Richards, has not sent out a debuting baby in the past five years.

Thundering Heat has been working at The Thoroughbred Center in Kentucky for trainer Tevis McCauley, who has never run a horse at Woodbine. She is by Thunder Gulch and out of a mare by leading California sire Unusual Heat.

Leading trainer Sid Attard has Officer's Dream, a daughter of good debut sire Officer. The filly cost $35,000 at a Florida 2-year-olds in training sale. Attard has sent out 18 percent 2-year-old debut winners during the last five years.

Helena's Secret is by the 19 percent first-out juvenile sire Five Star Day, and her dam has produced a stakes winner. Her trainer, Brian Lynch, is better second time out than first.

The eighth race has an intriguing beginner, Danjon, who drew post 1 in the 1 1/16-mile event for $12,500 maidens. His trainer, Norm McKnight, won with the debuting Valid Squeeze in a route last year.