08/27/2008 11:00PM

Northern Kraze tough on turf in Ontario Colleen


ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Northern Kraze and Lickety Lemon will square off Saturday at Woodbine in the $150,000 Ontario Colleen Stakes, a one-mile turf race for 3-year-old fillies.

Northern Kraze was in mediocre Polytrack form prior to her maiden-breaking performance going a mile on the grass July 1. She’s coming off a monster effort in the 1 1/4-mile Wonder Where Stakes on yielding turf, where she tracked front-runner Roses ‘n’ Wine throughout before overhauling her in deep stretch to win with an 87 Beyer Speed Figure.

On the strength of Northern Kraze’s fourth-place finish against males in the Oct. 14 Cup and Saucer Stakes, trainer Mark Frostad said it was no surprise that she has evolved into an effective turf specialist.

“We always knew that she’d be better on turf,” Frostad said, “but she was running fairly well on the Poly, so we kept her there. I thought she tipped her hand last year in the Cup and Saucer, when she ran a big race.”

Chantal Sutherland, Woodbine’s hottest stakes rider, retains the mount on Northern Kraze.

Lickety Lemon, who has yet to win a stakes, was a troubled second in the Jessamine Stakes last fall at Keeneland. She is winless in five starts this year, but was good enough to run second to impressive New York invader Passion in the June 8 Alywow Stakes.

Last out at Saratoga, Lickety Lemon rallied for third behind Grade 1 Santa Anita Oaks winner Ariege in the one-mile Madam Jumel Stakes.

“She got into a lot of trouble that day,” trainer Mark Casse said. “She was steadied on the first turn, and she also got steadied at the eighth pole.”

The Madam Jumel was run over soft ground, which Lickety Lemon seemed to like. Casse believes a one-turn mile over firm turf at Woodbine might not be as good for the late-running daughter of Lemon Drop Kid.

Among others in the Ontario Colleen, Verdana Bold won the Grade 3 Selene and Star Shoot Stakes in the spring. She was softened up in a speed duel before fading to sixth in her lone turf try in the 6 1/2-furlong Alywow.

Sugar Bay comes off back-to-back victories at seven furlongs, most notably in the Duchess Stakes.

There are two American shippers in the 13-horse field, Creative Design and Fareena.

Fareena won the $75,300 Denise Rhudy Memorial Stakes July 26 at Delaware. She hasn’t missed the board in six starts for trainer Leigh Delacour.