06/07/2007 11:00PM

Is Quiet Jungle ready for Oaks?


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - A Woodbine Oaks would not seem complete without the participation of Sam-Son Farm. Its colorbearer this year, Quiet Jungle, is a dark horse in the field of 11 for Sunday's $500,000 feature for Canadian-bred 3-year-old fillies.

Sam-Son Farm has been represented by 27 starters in 20 runnings of the 1 1/8-mile Woodbine Oaks, dating back to 1977. Seven of those fillies were winners, including three in Sam-Son's modern era with trainer Mark Frostad.

Quiet Jungle will be looking to follow the Woodbine Oaks examples of Eye of the Sphynx in 2004, Dancethruthedawn in 2001, and Catch the Ring, who defeated entrymate and runner-up Mountain Dawn in 2000.

But while those Sam-Son fillies all were odds-on favorites, Quiet Jungle is the 6-1 fourth choice on the morning line of Woodbine oddsmaker Jennifer Morrison.

The reason rests not only in the depth of this year's Woodbine Oaks field but also in Quiet Jungle's relative lack of experience.

"She was in for a while last year, and she sort of got 'shinny,' and we just sent her home," said Frostad.

Quiet Jungle went to the Sam-Son spread in Florida last fall and then joined Frostad at the Fair Grounds in early December.

"We were in no rush," said Frostad. "She was going to tell us when she was ready to run."

And, Frostad admits that he was not thinking Oaks from the start with Quiet Jungle, a homebred by Forest Wildcat out of the Smart Strike mare Split the Arrow.

"I thought she was a very nice filly, but a lot of those Forest Wildcats are more sprint than distance," said Frostad.

"But she's out of a nice mare - a half-sister to Catch the Ring, the dam of Catch the Thrill - so she gets some stamina."

Catch the Thrill, Canada's champion juvenile filly last year, would have been the stable's main Woodbine Oaks hopeful but was slow to come around after undergoing ankle surgery late last fall and has yet to start in 2007.

In the meantime, Quiet Jungle got her career under way at Fair Grounds on March 15, finishing a closing second over one mile in the slop and being elevated to the top spot via disqualification.

Four weeks later, in a 1 1/16-mile, first-level allowance at Keeneland, Quiet Jungle got off slowly and closed very wide to be beaten just 1o3/4 lengths as the fourth-place finisher. The winner, Panty Raid, had finished a close second to Sealy Hill, the 7-2 second choice for the Woodbine Oaks, in Turfway's one-mile Bourbonette.

Panty Raid followed up with a victory in the Grade 2, 1o1/8-mile Black-Eyed Susan in her next start at Pimlico on May 18.

Quiet Jungle, meanwhile, defeated first-level allowance company over 1 1/16 miles in her Woodbine debut and final start prior to the Oaks.

"In her last race, she looked pretty green," said Frostad. "She didn't really know what was going on out there."

Interestingly, Eye of the Sphynx was making just her fourth career appearance in the Woodbine Oaks after beginning her career at Keeneland that year on April 22, more than five weeks later than Quiet Jungle did this year.

Eye of the Sphynx, however, came into the Woodbine Oaks with established stakes credentials, having won the seven-furlong Fury and the 1 1/16-mile Selene in her second and third outings.

"She was a little more focused," said Frostad. "Right from the get-go, she seemed to know what it was all about.

"Quiet Jungle is certainly ready physically, but is she ready mentally?"P

Maiden using Victoria Park as Plate prep

The $125,000 Victoria Park, one of two stakes on Sunday's undercard, is the last major stepping-stone to the $1 million Queen's Plate here June 24.

This year, however, the only Queen's Plate eligible in the Victoria Park's is Ourtimetodance, a maiden trained by Roger Attfield. The other eight entrants in the 1 1/8-mile Victoria Park are American-breds.

Attfield said a Queen's Plate appearance could be on Ourtimetodance's card.

"He could be in there, if things turn out well," said Attfield, who owns Ourtimetodance in partnership with Bill Werner. "That was sort of the intention going in there Sunday, because there are no races for these maidens going long. He's got a pedigree to run all day."

Ourtimetodance began his career at Gulfstream this spring and has raced four times, with his latest effort a second-place finish in a "B" maiden special at 1 1/16 miles in his local debut here May 18.

Attfield confident Include Us belongs in Plate

Attfield plans to continue on to the 1 1/4-mile Queen's Plate with Include Us, a maiden who finished fifth in the Plate Trial.

Include Us has started six times, with his best effort a second-place finish in a 1 1/16-mile maiden special at Keeneland.

In his two outings here this spring, Include Us finished fifth in both the 1 1/16-mile Marine and the 1 1/8-mile Plate Trial.

"I haven't got him quite back to where I had him at Keeneland, but I think I'm going to have him like that in two weeks' time," said Attfield.

"I thought he'd make a bit more of an impression in the lane in the Plate Trial, but there were soft fractions early and we were beaten less than a length for third.

"If I can get him to improve a little bit, the mile and a quarter's going to help him."