Updated on 09/15/2011 12:47PM

No stars means a wide-open Breeders'


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - With the absence of Queen's Plate winner Dancethruthedawn and Prince of Wales Stakes winner Win City, the third leg of the Canadian Triple Crown, Saturday's $500,000 Breeders' Stakes at Woodbine, is a competitive event lacking in quality.

Fillies have won two of the last three runnings of the 1 1/2-mile turf marathon, and are represented again Saturday by Sweetest Thing and Asia.

Roger Attfield, who trains Sweetest Thing, won two consecutive Breeders', with Pinafore Park and Free Vacation in 1998 and 1999.

Sweetest Thing has made all three of her starts on the grass. She graduated first time out in a June 7 maiden special, but followed it up with a lackluster showing in allowance company. She added Lasix most recently in a 1 3/8-mile allowance, and came from just off the pace to score by 5 1/4 lengths over an older stakes-placed runner.

"We knew she was going to be a nice turf filly," said Attfield. "I pointed her to this race after her last start. She really impressed me."

Asia, an improving maiden, finished fourth as a longshot in both the Plate and the Princes of Wales. She was beaten only 4 1/4 lengths in the 1 1/4-mile Plate, but was nearly nine lengths back in the 1 3/16-mile Wales.

Asia, a daughter of Sky Classic and an Alleged mare, has yet to try the grass, but Cheadle is confident that she will handle it. "I worked her on the turf as a 2-year-old," Cheadle recalled. "She went over it very nicely."

Vie for Fame, a son of Epsom Derby winner Quest for Fame, is coming off a much-improved effort on the grass. He rallied from far back with a big premature move in that 1 3/8-mile allowance, but was overtaken in the stretch after taking the lead and finished second to an older rival.

"I was impressed by his last race," said trainer David Bell. "You could pick on the rider for moving too soon, but the horse just dragged him up there. He didn't run very well the race before, because he had a little problem. We got it fixed, and now he's doing really well."

Fly Smartly flashed cheap speed when he debuted on the dirt May 26, but he graduated with a six-wide rally in his only other outing in a maiden special weight dash on the turf.

Coupled trio in Duchess

The entry of Poetically, Meadow Gem, and Madam Red should be a short price in Saturday's supporting feature, the $138,500 Duchess Stakes, a seven-furlong dash for 3-year-old fillies.

Poetically, the reigning champion 2-year-old filly in Canada, was a solid fourth last out in the Grade 3 Delaware Oaks.

The Bob Tiller-trained duo of Meadow Gem and Madam Red are both debuting in stakes competition.