06/08/2006 11:00PM

Seductively one to catch in Oaks

Michael Burns Photography
Seductively, the Selene winner, faces nine 3-year-old fillies in the Oaks.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Things haven't always gone smoothly for Seductively, sometimes through no fault of her own.

The horse to beat in Sunday's $500,000 Woodbine Oaks, based on her victory in the Grade 3 Selene on May 24, Seductively was quite green in her first two starts at 2, and in her penultimate outing, the Fury Stakes on May 7, she never got untracked after her saddle slipped.

Seductively put it all together in the Selene, a 1 1/16-mile race, leading virtually all the way to score a three-quarter-length victory. That stellar effort has made her the one to catch in the Oaks, a nine-furlong event for Canadian-bred 3-year-old fillies.

met the imposing duo of Top Notch Lady and Angel on Watch in the Selene, which was postponed three days because of a cancellation. Top Notch Lady and Angel on Watch raced as a team in an outside stalking position, as Seductively set a slow pace under jockey Gerry Olguin before holding off Angel on Watch. The victory was Seductively's second in six starts and increased her earnings to $296,000.

Ian Black, who trains Seductively for Kinghaven Farm, said he liked his chances going into the Selene, even though Seductively was 7-1 in the four-horse field.

"I was concerned about those other two fillies, but I liked [Seductively] because it looked like she was the speed," said Black. "She'd shown us enough in the mornings, and we probably thought she was better than anybody else did."

Seductively had a dazzling half-mile breeze in 46.40 seconds last Monday. It was the fastest of 61 works at the distance. Black said he was hoping for a slower work, but said he wasn't displeased with the move.

"I wanted her to go in about 48, but [Olguin] was just sitting on her," Black said. "She did it easily. She's been training very well."

was scratched from the Selene after contracting a virus, which caused her to miss a week of training. Second in the 1 1/16-mile Ontario Lassie Stakes at 2, Like a Gem has three sprints under her belt this year and shouldn't have lost much fitness. Last time out, in the seven-furlong Fury, she finished second, a neck behind Gumboots, after stalking a tepid pace over a speed-favoring track.

Robert Landry, who has won the Oaks three times, retains the mount on Like a Gem for trainer Danny Vella.

"She's a hard-trying filly who's very consistent," said Landry. "Unfortunately, she got that virus. She missed a lot of training, but she's had her three races this year. She's not a big, heavy filly, so she keeps herself pretty fit. She had a tremendous work last week. I like her chances."

Sweet Breanna and finished first and second in a 1 1/16-mile allowance May 13. It was the second start of the year for Sweet Breanna, who was second in her season opener.

"First time out, we knew seven-eighths would be too short for her, but I thought she ran a good race," said trainer Steve Attard. "She'd been training much better than she did last year. That was a good stepping-stone to her last race. One thing about her, she'll run all day long."

Kimchi faded to second in her last start after taking the lead at the far turn. She will remove the blinkers for the Oaks.

"She was too aggressive in her last race," said trainer Mark Casse.

Sam-Son Farm, which has won the Oaks a record seven times, is running Strike Softly, who finished third in the Fury, her only start this year.

Our Madison was cross-entered in Sunday's $100,000 Alywow Stakes, a turf sprint. She beat Like a Gem by a neck in the Dec. 4 Ontario Lassie.

London Snow, victorious in the May 27 Lady Angela Stakes for Ontario-sired fillies, is competing around two turns for the first time.

Wedded Woman has been freshened since hitting the board in a pair of Gulfstream Park allowances on the grass.

The field

Woodbine Oaks
Purse: $500,000; 1 1/8 miles

1QuestuaryR. Sabourin15-1
2KimchiP. Husbands6-1
3Sweet BreannaJ. Stein8-1
4Like A GemR. Landry3-1
5Wedded WomanJ. Jones10-1
6SeductivelyG. Olguin5-2
7London SnowS. Bahen15-1
8Executive FlightJ. McAleney30-1
9Strike SoftlyT. Kabel5-1
10Our MadisonC. Fraser20-1

* All starters carry 121 pounds
* Blinkers on: Questuary
* Blinkers off: Kimchi
* Odds by Ron Gierkink
* Television: Sunday, The Score, 4:30 -5:30 p.m.