08/15/2005 11:00PM

River Nore tough to back off latest starts


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Questions abound regarding Thursday's Woodbine feature, a nonwinners-of-three allowance for Ontario-sired fillies and mares.

Will Fury Stakes winner River Nore snap out of her slump? Can On Silent Wings stretch her blazing speed out to 6 1/2 furlongs? Is the race too short for Bold Little Lass? Will Versionofthetruth be able to take her game to the next level?

River Nore looked like a nice prospect when she won her maiden by 12 1/2 lengths here in December. After running second in an allowance in her season debut in April, she scored a 4 1/2-length win in the Fury on May 8. Then her bubble burst.

River Nore finished up the track after running rankly in the Labatt Woodbine Oaks, and was then beaten 14 lengths in the Bison City Stakes at Fort Erie. A subsequent experiment on turf, in the Passing Mood Stakes, resulted in a fourth-place finish, 9 3/4 lengths behind the winner.

River Nore hasn't faced this weak a field since her season opener, but she is certainly hard to recommend off her last few.

On Silent Wings won back-to-back six-furlong claimers in the spring, against maidens and nonwinners of two, and then showed she could handle the grass when she was a fading fifth in a 6 1/2-furlong allowance. Most recently, against Ontario-sired foes in the five-furlong Rainbow Connection Stakes at Fort Erie, On Silent Wings dueled with Cricket Wicket through sizzling splits before opening up a daylight lead. She got a little weary in the final strides, however, and finished a half-length back in third, earning an 83 Beyer Speed Figure.

A 6 1/2-furlong race is probably stretching it for On Silent Wings, but don't be surprised if she leads until deep stretch.

Bold Little Lass won a two-turn Ontario-sired allowance May 19 and subsequently finished third in two consecutive allowances, one going short and the other going long. Last time, in an open seven-furlong allowance, Bold Little Lass came from a stalking position to finish second behind a sharp Shot Gun Ela.

Bold Little Lass has a good record at Thursday's distance and looms the one to beat with apprentice Emma Wilson aboard.

Versionofthetruth is running back just a week after her daylight score in a six-furlong Ontario-sired allowance for nonwinners of two. She has yet to be worse than second on the dirt.