09/20/2009 11:00PM

Nicki Knew takes a drop after stakes


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Stakes winner Nicki Knew gets some class relief in Wednesday's Woodbine headliner, and she could end a drought in the second-level allowance, which has a $62,500-$60,000 claiming option.

Nicki Knew captured the second leg of the 2008 Canadian triple tiara, the Bison City Stakes, which was run at the same distance as Thursday's feature, 1 1/16 miles. She went on to place in four other stakes last year, most notably the open La Lorgnette and the restricted Jammed Lovely.

Trainer Kevin Attard has started Nicki Knew just three times this year. She was a distant third in her season opener, a six-furlong optional claimer, then a dull eighth in the six-furlong Ballade Stakes.

Most recently, on July 19, Nicki Knew showed signs of life going 1 1/16 miles in the Ontario Matron Stakes. She had a three-wide stalking trip in that open event before weakening in the final furlong, and she finished fourth behind Smart Surprise, Tell It as It Is, and Arden Belle.

Nicki Knew earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 84 in the Matron, easily the highest last-race Beyer in this spot. She has worked five times since that race, and Jim McAleney retains the mount on her.

In a field that lacks speed, Ky Bluz Girl could be the pacemaker. She set a dawdling pace last time in a $40,000 claimer and was overhauled in the final strides by the classy Accopela Choir.

Ky Bluz Girl is winless in four starts this year, but she scored 5 times in 11 outings in 2008, for earnings in excess of $100,000.

Skipping Queen has been idle for nearly a year, since her fifth-place finish in the 2008 La Lorgnette. She received an 84 Beyer while earning her diploma, and she won a first-level allowance with an 85 Beyer after ending up sixth in last year's Bison City.

Skipping Queen's owner, Stronach Stable, won last Sunday's first race with a sharp comebacker who had been off a year, Barreling Home.

Nalee's Crown defeated a good field in her next-to-last start in 1 1/16-mile allowance. She regressed last time against $40,000 opposition, finishing fifth behind Ky Bluz Girl and Knocker.

Knocker, a 14-time winner, has struggled since taking her second start of the year in an optional claimer, in which she earned a big 95 Beyer. Like Ky Bluz Girl, she is trained by Bob Tiller.

* Starting Wednesday, Woodbine will offer the pick six every day, instead of just on Sundays. The carryover is $35,996.