07/05/2009 11:00PM

Saskawea looking tough to bet against


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - A sharp Saskawea should be a formidable opponent Wednesday at Woodbine in the $100,000 Repercussion Stakes. The 6 1/2-furlong turf sprint is the prep for the six-furlong Royal North, a Grade 3 stakes here Aug. 1.

Saskawea, trained by Steve Attard for Beclawat Stable, has amassed more than $700,000 in earnings. She had a subpar 2008 campaign, although she managed to land the Avowal Stakes in September.

Saskawea finished a tired eighth in her season opener, the Grade 3 Hendrie Stakes on the Polytrack. She came back to score on turf in the restricted Zadracarta Stakes, leading most of the way to prevail by 1 1/4 lengths after being passed by Bent Attorney in midstretch.

Attard believes Saskawea needed her first start back, which set her up nicely for the six-furlong Zadracarta.

"She was impressive there," said Attard. "I think it was one of her best races."

Bent Attorney, Attard noted, "passed her on the inside, but she's just too much filly. She doesn't give up."

Saskawea breezed an easy half-mile in 50.20 seconds on the Polytrack last Tuesday.

"She came out of her last race fantastic," said Attard. "Hopefully, she's not going to bounce. I think she's had enough time not to bounce. The Royal North is what we're pointing for."

Remarkable Remy was scratched from last Wednesday's Sweet Briar Too Stakes in favor of the Repercussion.

Remarkable Remy has been campaigned as a middle-distance grass specialist throughout most of her career. In her first try for trainer Malcolm Pierce, the Grade 2 Nassau Stakes here May 30, she helped to set slow fractions before fading to seventh.

Pierce said he hopes a turnback in distance from 1 1/16 miles will help get Remarkable Remy back on the right track.

"She's got pretty good speed," Pierce explained. "Cutting her back to six and a half furlongs possibly will be a good thing for her, to get her off the lead and come with a run. If she were to run well, that would lead well into the Royal North."

Pierce said Remarkably Remy worked an encouraging half-mile last Wednesday under Todd Kabel. "Time-wise, she only went in 48.80, but she did it well and galloped out good," Pierce said.

Krz Exec captured the Ontario Damsel Stakes last summer, the only time she sprinted on the grass. She will be making her second start off a long layoff for trainer Mike DePaulo.