06/20/2010 11:00PM

This round to Tasty Temptation


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Sunday's $117,800 Hill 'n' Dale was billed as a rematch between Milwaukee Appeal and Tasty Temptation, who had met three times before, including finishing one-two in last year's Woodbine Oaks.

Tasty Temptation had finished second with Milwaukee Appeal third when the fillies met here in the 1 1/16-mile La Lorgnette in their start before the Woodbine Oaks. Their last encounter before Sunday's had come in the Queen's Plate, in which Milwaukee Appeal ran third and Tasty Temptation fourth.

And the winner of this round was Tasty Temptation, who stretched her winning streak at the meeting to three under regular rider Patrick Husbands with a one-length tally in the 1 1/16-mile Hill 'n' Dale for fillies and mares.

"I thought she ran good," said trainer Mark Casse, who sent out Tasty Temptation in the Hill 'n' Dale for Woodford Racing LLC. "She had to work at it a little bit. The pace might have been a little soft, but she does what she has to do."

Casse acknowledged that there was some extra measure of satisfaction in seeing Tasty Temptation defeat Milwaukee Appeal in light of their previous history.

"It would have been nicer to beat her in the Oaks," said Casse. "But, it creates quite a nice little rivalry."

While the prospects of that rivalry continuing in the near future are far from certain, both Casse and Milwaukee Appeal's trainer, Scott Fairlie, have identified the July 17 Delaware Handicap as a possible target. The 1 1/4-mile Delaware Handicap offers Grade 2 status and a purse of $750,000.

Casse said Tasty Temptation also would be considered for the Grade 1, $250,000 Ruffian, a 1 1/8-mile race at Saratoga on Aug. 1.

Fairlie cited the $150,000 Ontario Matron, a 1 1/16-mile race here July 25, as another option for Milwaukee Appeal, who had finished third in the Grade 2 Shuvee over one mile at Belmont in her seasonal bow on May 15.

Milwaukee Appeal finished a length behind Tasty Temptation in the Hill 'n' Dale after being down on the rail until the late going.

"I thought she ran a great race," said Fairlie. "The 1-hole cost us. At a mile and an eighth she would have won, regardless."

Day hardly a total loss

Fairlie had plenty of consolation as he was in the winner's circle to greet Devilish Stunt, Kirkland Lake, and C'mon Man following other races on Sunday's program.

Devilish Stunt, a Kentucky-bred 2-year-old, was a six-length maiden winner in his second career start while Kirkland Lake doubled up in allowance company after graduating for $40,000.

C'Mon Man, claimed for $12,500 from a victory over nonwinners of two, got the money when facing $20,000 non-winners of three and was claimed by trainer Michael Pino.

"It was a great day," said Fairlie.

Madman Diaries keeps scoring

Wesley Ward's stable has been on a roll here, and Madman Diaries, who is owned and was bred by the trainer, gave him his first stakes win of the meeting by capturing Saturday's $150,400 Victoria.

Madman Diaries, who is based at Keeneland, scored by 9 1/4 lengths in the five-furlong Victoria after winning his maiden by 9 3/4 lengths at 4 1/2 furlongs in his first trip north.

"He's done everything right so far," said Ward, who had planned to be at Woodbine but wound up watching the Victoria from Lexington, Ky.

Madman Diaries, a gelding by Bring the Heat, began his career at Keeneland, finishing second in a 4 1/2-furlong maiden race on April 8.

"His sire has produced a lot of turf and Polytrack winners," said Ward, who plans to keep Madman Diaries on a synthetic surface for the immediate future with either the Colin here on July 17 or the Best Pal at Del Mar on Aug. 8 his next prospective engagement. The six-furlong Colin and the Grade 2, 6 1/2-furlong Best Pal each offers a purse of $150,000.

Down the road, Ward plans to test Madman Diaries at longer distances.

"He acts like he will go farther," said Ward. "As soon as they start stretching out, I'd like to see if he can do it."

Ward, who had four starters here over the weekend, also won Saturday with his homebred 5-year-old gelding New Believer. Jeffrey Sanchez, who is based at Calder, rode the four Ward shippers.

Following Sunday's program, Ward's Woodbine line stood at 5-7-0 from 14 entrants.

Moonlit Beauty steps it up

Moonlit Beauty, a 4-year-old who has been on the improve of late, stepped up to notch her first stakes victory in Saturday's $102,000 Zadracarta, an overnight seven-furlong turf race for fillies and mares.

The Zadracarta also was the first stakes win for her owner and breeder, Bill Gierkink, who is the father of Daily Racing Form correspondent Ron Gierkink.

"The big thing with her as a 3-year-old was that she was a very finicky eater," said trainer John LeBlanc, who is off to a good start and was recording his seventh win from 26 starters at the meeting. "She was a big, lanky filly. We got her eating up really well this year, and she just grew into her body.

"She seemed to really focus in on racing as part of her maturity. We always knew she had ability -- it was just a case of her putting it together."

Moonlit Beauty was notching her third consecutive win in the Zadracarta, all in front-running fashion, after scoring under restricted second-level allowance terms over seven furlongs of Polytrack and in an open optional $62,500 claimer/second-level allowance at 6 1/2 furlongs on the turf.

Chantal Sutherland, who was capturing her meet-leading seventh stakes, has been in the irons for each of Moonlit Beauty's five victories.

"The filly really settles well for Chantal," said LeBlanc.

Moonlit Beauty earned a career-high Beyer Speed Figure of 90 for her Zadracarta score with her best previous number, an 86, coming in the recent turf allowance.

"I always thought she'd be better on the turf," said LeBlanc. "She has a beautiful turf stride. I think she moves up tremendously on it."

The $125,000 Victoriana, a 1 1/16 mile turf race for fillies and mares here Aug. 15, is a long-term goal for Moonlit Beauty.

"I've always had the Victoriana in the back of my mind, to see if she'll stretch out there," said LeBlanc.