08/14/2007 11:00PM

The Queen's Stamp requires patience


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Jockey Patrick Husbands has some big shoes to fill when he replaces Edgar Prado on The Queen's Stamp in Friday's fourth race at Woodbine, an $80,000 optional claimer on the grass.

The Queen's Stamp had just two wins prior to her July 22 score in a second-level allowance under the New York-based Prado. Prado, the 2006 Eclipse Award-winning jockey, was at Woodbine that day to guide Sky Conqueror to victory in the Grade 2 Northern Dancer BC Stakes, and he stuck around to sweep the late double, giving The Queen's Stamp a clever come-from-behind ride.

The Queen's Stamp won a first-level allowance in July of last year before going winless in her next six outings, during which she hit the board just twice.

Husbands is a patient rider in his own right, and should have The Queen's Stamp rallying behind all the speed in Friday's seven-furlong contest. She has the same connections as Sky Conqueror - owner Bill Sorokolit and trainer Darwin Banach.

Among the others in Friday's headliner, open to third-level allowance runners, are Maria Clarissa, Miss Dorothy, Unreal Rocket, and Quelle Beaute.

Maria Clarissa competed in the two most recent editions of the restricted Zadracarta Stakes, finishing second last year and fifth this year. She's coming off a third-place finish in a tough classified allowance won by Vestrey Lady, who subsequently captured the Grade 3 Royal North Stakes. Corey Fraser will ride Maria Clarissa for trainer Gail Cox.

Miss Dorothy and Unreal Rocket could link up on the front end.

Miss Dorothy won 5 of 11 starts in 2006, including allowance victories on dirt, turf, and Polytrack. She faded to fifth after setting a moderate pace most recently in the Ontario Matron Stakes.

Unreal Rocket set a slow pace on an uncontested lead when landing her local debut in a seven-furlong sprint for $50,000 claimers July 29.

Quelle Beaute defeated $62,500 optional-claiming company in her last turf attempt, on June 23. She was recently third in an $80,000 route, taken off the grass and run on the Poly.