Updated on 09/16/2011 8:33AM

A race finally fills for Catch the Ring


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Catch the Ring, the 2000 Canadian Oaks winner, will launch her 2002 campaign in Sunday's $134,375 Ontario Matron Handicap, a 1 1/16-mile race for fillies at Woodbine.

A Fleets Dancer and Win City, both Canadian champions in 2001, will clash in the excellent supporting feature on the card, an allowance prep for the July 1 Dominion Day Handicap.

Catch the Ring, trained by Mark Frostad for the powerful Sam-Son Farm, won the Sovereign Award as champion 3-year-old filly in 2000. She had another productive season last year, winning the Grade 3 Maple Leaf Stakes while beating stablemate Mountain Angel, who edged her in the Sovereign Award voting for champion older filly at year's end.

Frostad said he has had a frustrating time finding a race for Catch the Ring this spring.

"She's been ready to run for two months," Frostad said, "but we haven't been able to get her into a race. We entered her three times at Keeneland, but none of those races went. We entered her here in the prep for the Matron, and it didn't go."

Frostad said retirement was put on hold for Catch the Ring, a beautifully bred daughter of Seeking the Gold and graded stakes winner Radiant Ring.

"She was in good order, so we decided to bring her back for one more year," said the trainer. "She's earned over $800,000, and we think we can get her over $1 million."

Completing the Matron lineup will be Devastating, Extend, Cafe Dancer, Cassia, and Rich Mist.

Extend went on a mini-roll late last fall, when she won an $80,000 optional claimer here before taking the Stage Door Betty Handicap at Calder.

After faring poorly in the Grade 3 Sabin Handicap at Gulfstream, Extend ran a deceptively good race at Keeneland in the Doubledogdare Stakes, in which she dueled through quick fractions before fading to finish a distant fourth behind a sharp Dancethruthedawn.

Trainer Roger Attfield was content with Extend's Keeneland experience.

"It was a decent race," said Attfield. "She ran in a tough way, and could have been third with a different trip."

Cassia was claimed by trainer John Cardella from Attfield for $32,000 last year. She notched her first two starts of the meeting, in optional claimers, but spun her wheels in the slop last time, and had to settle for third.

"She's hates the slop," Cardella pointed out. "I don't think she's too fond of the turf, either. She likes a nice, fast racetrack."

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