08/21/2008 11:00PM

Pair of dangerous first-timers


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Trainer Mark Casse entered a pair of well-bred first-time starters, Weekend Prospect and Bedtime Story, in Sunday's $100,000 Ice Water Stakes at Woodbine. The seven-furlong turf sprint is the local prep for the Grade 3 Natalma Stakes, a Breeders' Cup Win and You're In race here Sept. 14.

Weekend Prospect, a daughter of A.P. Indy, is a half-sister to millionaire turf runner Film Maker.

"She's bred to love the turf," said Casse. "She's a big, lanky filly. The only problem might be that this may be too short for her."

Bedtime Story, a $20,000 2-year-old purchase in Ocala, Fla., is from the first crop of Breeders' Cup Classic winner Pleasantly Perfect.

"She's tall, probably about 16.2 hands," said Casse. "She was really intriguing to me when I watched her work for the sale. She didn't work very fast, but she went out very strong. I love the way she moves. I thought she'd bring a lot more money than she did."

Casse said the two fillies were scheduled to work five-eighths together over the turf training course Aug. 17, but they ended up working separately. Both were clocked in 1:00.60.

"They were never a team," Casse explained. "Bedtime Story got away a little quicker, and was about 10 in front. Bedtime Story went really well," adding that jockey Patrick Husbands said Weekend Prospect "loved the grass."

Casse said he has been pointing both fillies toward the Ice Water, and believes it's not a coincidence that his record with first-timers on the grass is good.

"I train a lot on the turf," said Casse. "I make sure that all my young horses go to the turf. Normally, when you see me run one on the turf, I'm not just taking a shot in the dark. I've usually seen something that I like."

Koonunga Hill, trained by Steve Owens, won her maiden second-time out in a five-furlong sprint for Ontario-sired stock June 28.

Koonunga Hill finished a troubled fourth in the July 13 Shady Well Stakes, and was promoted to third by disqualification. Most recently, in the six-furlong Nandi Stakes, she was second to the unbeaten Cawaja Beach.

Koonunga Hill breezed five-eighths around the cones over the turf training course in 1:01.40 on Aug. 15. She is a half-sister to Legal Heir and Moment of Peace, who both placed in stakes on the grass.