08/16/2007 11:00PM

Roving Angel repeat? It's tougher this time


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Roving Angel came up with perhaps the biggest race of her career when she won the $100,000 Belle Mahone here at Woodbine last year.

Roving Angel will be looking to duplicate that result in this year's Belle Mahone, a 1 1/16-mile race for fillies and mares on Sunday. But the circumstances will be decidedly different this time around.

Last year's Belle Mahone was run on the inner seven-furlong Standardbred oval, which was used for Thoroughbred racing while today's Polytrack surface was under construction.

Also, Roving Angel, a 4-year-old Kentucky-bred, went into the 2006 Belle Mahone off a solid effort against males in the 1 1/16-mile Seagram Cup three weeks earlier.

Sunday's race will be the first for Roving Angel since July 1, when she was beaten by five lengths in the seven-furlong Sweet Briar Too.

Bobby Pion, who trains Roving Angel for Keith and Rachel McClelland, does not believe the surface will be an issue.

"She liked those turns on the inner track," Pion said. "But the Polytrack doesn't seem to bother her. She ran a big race last year on it to Financingavailable. And she's worked well on it."

Roving Angel's top effort on Polytrack came in the seven-furlong Bessarabian, beaten a half-length while finishing in a dead heat for second behind the eventual division champion, Financingavailable.

Pion believes Roving Angel's lack of a recent start is not critical.

"Her first race this year took a lot out of her," said Pion, who sent out Roving Angel to a fourth-place finish in an off-the-turf first-level allowance over a mile and 70 yards on May 18. "Then she ran into a tiger, Bear Now, in the Hill 'n' Dale. We went for the win and chased her, instead of running for second."

Roving Angel wound up fourth, beaten 13 3/4 lengths for the win and four lengths for the place in the June 16 Hill 'n' Dale.

She came back two weeks later in the Sweet Briar Too.

"The Sweet Briar Too really knocked her out," said Pion. "We sent her to the farm for a couple of weeks."

Pion noted that Roving Angel has been pointing for this race and is coming off solid back-to-back five-furlong works under new rider Emma-Jayne Wilson.

"She's worked very well both times," said Pion, adding that Roving Angel also has run well fresh in the past.

Roving Angel also could find herself loose on the lead.

The filly to beat, and morning-line favorite, is Arden Belle, who was a neck runner-up to She's Indy Money in the 1 1/16-mile Ontario Matron in her last start here July 22.

A 4-year-old filly owned by Salt and Pepper Stable and trained by Ron Sadler, Arden Belle gave her regular rider, apprentice Matt Moore, his first stakes win in the Sweet Briar Too.

She's Indy Money pointed to Seaway

She's Indy Money, a Kentucky-bred owned by Malcolm Pierce, had been under serious consideration for the Belle Mahone but was not among the entries.

"There's nothing wrong with her; she was ready to run," said Pierce. "But you can't dance every dance."

She's Indy Money will await the Grade 3, $150,000 Seaway, a seven-furlong race for fillies and mares here Sept. 8.

"She's already won one of these overnight stakes," said Pierce. "A graded stakes win would mean a little more for her down the road."

Le Cinquieme Essai gets ready

Le Cinquieme Essai breezed four furlongs in 49.60 seconds on the training turf course here Friday and will be looking to defend his title in the Grade 2, $200,000 Play the King here next Saturday.

Paul Nielsen, who trains Le Cinquieme Essai for owner and breeder Bill Scott, timed the gelding galloping out five furlongs in 1:02 under his wife and assistant, Karen.

"I'm pretty happy with him," said Nielsen. "He quickened good the last eighth. He's ready to go."

Le Cinquieme Essai, 8, was sidelined by a suspensory problem following the Play the King last Aug. 26, and will be making just his second start of 2007 on Saturday.

In his season debut, Le Cinquieme Essai finished third in the Ontario Jockey Club, a seven-furlong turf race for Ontario-foaled 3-year-olds and up here July 21.

Callwood Dancer breezes

Callwood Dancer, an Irish-bred 3-year-old filly trained by Roger Attfield, breezed five furlongs in 1:01.80 on the turf and is scheduled to make her next start in the $125,000 Ontario Colleen here Sept. 1.

Jockey Eurico Rosa da Silva, who has ridden Callwood Dancer to 2 wins and 3 third-place finishes in her 4 starts this year, was aboard for the drill.

Callwood Dancer worked in tandem with Regra Tres, a maiden 3-year-old filly trained by Attfield, and Great Harry, who has won his last three starts in the lower claiming ranks, for trainer Debbie England.

Vacating barn

The great annual late-summer stall shuffle is about to begin.

Each year at about this time horses have to vacate the six barns that are used to accommodate yearlings entered in the local Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society's September sales here.

Tom Cosgrove, Woodbine's director of racing, said that horses must be out of the sales barns by Monday and will be allowed back in on Sept. 12.

During that period, a total of 234 stalls will be unavailable. The total actually is 50 fewer than in previous years, as the Standardbred barn on the front side will be used to house some of the displaced horses.

Some trainers located in the regular barns have had their stall allotments cut temporarily and the remainder of the sales barn horses retaining stalls will be slotted into those spaces.

The selected session of the yearling sale begins at 3 p.m. on Sept. 4. The preferred session begins at 3 p.m. on Sept. 8.

* Turf training is scheduled on Sunday, weather permitting. The course then will get its annual midsummer break and is scheduled to reopen on Wednesday, Sept. 11.