09/19/2008 12:00AM

The Niagara Queen is capable of repeating


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - The Niagara Queen will try to win the $100,000 Flaming Page Stakes for the second year in a row at Woodbine on Sunday. The 1 1/2-mile turf race drew a field of nine fillies and mares, many of whom are untested at the marathon distance.

The Niagara Queen captured her first graded stakes July 12 in the Grade 2 Dance Smartly, where she helped set a dawdling pace en route to a daylight victory. She finished far up a yielding course most recently in the Grade 2 Canadian Stakes.

Lickety Lemon, a 3-year-old trained by Mark Casse, is coming off back-to-back thirds in one-mile stakes. A closer, she has never been beyond a middle distance.

The Maryland-based Touch My Soul is winless since she prevailed in a Group 3 stakes in Germany in June 2007. She was turned over to trainer Graham Motion after going unplaced in graded stakes company last fall in Kentucky, and she recorded near identical runner-up finishes in allowance company earlier this summer at Monmouth.

La Hernanda won a listed stakes in Germany in her last outing in November. She has been working at Belmont for trainer Christophe Clement, and is going on Lasix.

Fintona appears to be a natural stayer. She had a productive 2007 season, and got a late start to her current campaign.

Fintona rallied to lose a 1 1/4-mile allowance by a nose in July. She was a non-threatening seventh last time in the Victoriana Stakes.

"She did well for us last year," said trainer Brandon Greer. "Even though she hasn't won this year, she seems to have improved a touch. We've had no interest in rushing her."

Greer has had the Flaming Page in mind for Fintona, because of the extended distance.

"The mile and a half has really fascinated us," said Greer. "It's something we've thought about for her for a while."

Velvet Hammer fared okay over 1 1/4 miles on the grass in her two most recent races, finishing fourth in the Wonder Where Stakes and second in an allowance.

"I think she'll like the distance," said trainer Bob Tiller. "She's a narrow filly, and those kind usually want to run all day."

Queenly Luck is exiting a five-length score in a 1 3/4-mile starter handicap at Philadelphia Park.