11/01/2005 12:00AM

Promising filly finds right spot


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Stakes-placed Top Notch Lady will likely be favored in Thursday's Woodbine headliner, a 1 1/16-mile allowance for 2-year-old fillies.

Top Notch Lady, owned by Robert Wilson and trained by Mark Casse, has run solid races in all four of her starts. She won her debut in a turf sprint after closing wide from mid-pack, and then finished fourth behind Knights Templar in the Ontario Debutante Stakes on the main track.

Top Notch Lady ran a determined race on the front end Sept. 11, ending up second going a mile on turf in the Grade 3 Natalma Stakes. She tried a two-turn distance for the first time most

recently, in the Grade 3 Mazarine Breeders' Cup Stakes, and was a distant third behind Knights Templar, who subsequently finished sixth after setting a fast pace in the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies at Belmont.

Top Notch Lady figures to be the controlling speed in Thursday's feature, and she will be ridden by Ray Sabourin.

The other contenders include Motel Dancing, Our Madison, and Severn Sound.

Motel Dancing wound up 7 1/2 lengths behind Top Notch Lady in fourth in the Mazarine. She won her maiden traveling a mile and a 70 yards in her next-to-last outing.

Motel Dancing is coupled in a Dave Cotey-trained entry with Between Drinks, who defeated $20,000 maidens in her latest appearance. Apprentice Emma Wilson, the leading rider here, was named on both parts of the entry.

Our Madison has fared well over both surfaces for trainer Red Johnson, who claimed her for $40,000 in August. In her first start off the claim, Our Madison was a close second in Motel Dancing's graduation. She subsequently earned her diploma over a yielding grass course, and is coming off a runner-up placing in a seven-furlong allowance on the turf.

Constant Montpellier, a go-to rider for Johnson in the past, replaces Wilson on Our Madison.

Severn Sound graduated on the turf in July in her third start. Her lone interim outing resulted in a fifth-place finish behind Our Madison Oct. 15.

- River Boat, at 12 years old the oldest runner at Woodbine, is slated to compete in Thursday's seventh race, a $40,000 claimer at 1 1/2 miles on the grass.

River Boat, owned and trained by Frank Huarte, won for $16,000 in his last start, a race at about 1 1/2 miles at Fort Erie, which was his 12th victory from 101 starts. Perhaps the highlight of his career was a nose victory in the Grade 2 Niagara BC Handicap in 2000.