Updated on 09/16/2011 7:44AM

Shady Well is wide open


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Mountain Dawn heads a wide-open running of the $165,450 Shady Well Stakes, a 5 1/2-furlong race for 2-year-old fillies Sunday at Woodbine.

In an interesting supporting feature, multiple stakes winners Wake at Noon, Mr. Epperson, and Rare Friends will meet in a six-furlong allowance race that is the prep for the July 20 Bold Venture Handicap.

Mountain Dawn, a diminutive chestnut, mounted a belated rally on a speed-favoring track to end up third behind the promising Kentucky-bred Handpainted in her May 18 debut.

Mountain Dawn put it all together in her second start, a five-furlong maiden special weight race on

June 8, closing from three lengths back to win by daylight. Her time of 58.80 seconds was good for a Beyer Speed Figure of 72.

"I'm very happy with her," said trainer Mac Benson. "I think she needed her first race, where she had to face [Handpainted], who came back to win a stakes. We weren't disappointed with it by any means. She came back and won nicely."

Na Somsanith retains the mount on Mountain Dawn, who drew the inside post in the eight-horse field of Canadian-breds.

Lining up outside Mountain Dawn will be Boldest of All, Last Mysterious, Kabul, Rhiannon's Wish, Arch of Triumph, Appleby Gardens, and Santerra.

First-time starter Appleby Gardens, a $2 million yearling purchase by Eugene and Laura Melnyk, has been working right along at Belmont for trainer Todd Pletcher. A daughter of A.P. Indy, Appleby Gardens is out of 1996 Shady Well winner Larkwhistle.

Pletcher ran another expensive debuter here last weekend in the Clarendon Stakes, Brighton Ridge, who finished fourth as the heavy favorite. Pletcher won the 1999 Shady Well with first-timer Ruby Park.

Robert Landry, who won the Shady Well aboard Larkwhistle and Ruby Park, will ride Appleby Gardens.

Kabul, an attractive dark bay, is the only other winner in the lineup. She dusted $50,000 maidens at five furlongs in lone start June 13, winning by 4 1/2 lengths after fighting off two rivals on the front end.

Trainer Jake Nemett was caught off guard by Kabul's successful debut.

"I thought she wanted to go farther than that," said Nemett. "The fastest she had worked was five-eighths in 1:04. I guess she's just better in the afternoon."

Last Mysterious, a full sister to multiple stakes winner Mysterious Affair, broke slowly before closing for third when she debuted in a five-furlong maiden special last weekend.