08/05/2010 1:50PM

Sharp Secretary stretching out in Duchess


ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Sharp Secretary has come a long way since she was a mere $1,100 yearling purchase, and she should be a player in Saturday’s $150,000 Duchess Stakes at Woodbine.

The seven-furlong Duchess has attracted a hodgepodge of 3-year-old fillies, including the shippers Derwin’s Star, Red Hot Buddha, Simply Spiteful, and Manx Miss.

Sharp Secretary competed in maiden claimers at 2 before winning a maiden special and an allowance. This year, she wound up second to Biofuel in the Star Shoot Stakes, and was a close fourth on turf in the Alywow Stakes, before beating older opposition in a six-furlong optional claimer July 17.

Trainer Lorne Richards said there are some similarities between Sharp Secretary and his former stable star, Financingavailable, who was Canada’s champion older female in 2006-07.

“She’s turned out to be a pretty decent horse, and she seems to be on the improve,” said Richards. “She doesn’t let too much bother her. She’s got a pretty strong constitution that way. She’s just a nice filly to be around. She reminds me of Financingavailable that way.”

Richards said he doesn’t think the stretch-out to seven furlongs will be a problem for Sharp Secretary.

“She’ll rate pretty good,” Richards explained. “She needs a decently-timed move. You don’t want to go too early with her.”

Derwin’s Star was a front-running third behind Blind Luck in her last outing over a sloppy track in the Grade 2 Delaware Oaks. She was previously in good sprint form, which included a victory in a first-level allowance here April 18, which she won by eight lengths in a quick clocking.

Red Hot Buddha prevailed in each of her two most recent races in the spring, both on the Tapeta surface at Presque Isle. She took the six-furlong Inaugural Stakes by a head May 7, and is coming off an eight-length allowance win traveling six and one-half furlongs.

Simply Spiteful is cross-entered in Friday’s Loudonville Stakes at Saratoga. She led throughout a 6 1/2-furlong optional claimer in her latest excursion at Belmont.

Irish invader Manx Miss won her maiden second time out last fall. She is adding Lasix off a double-digit loss in her season debut in a handicap at The Curragh.

Saratoga-based Kitty in a Tizzy has been idle since she captured a seven-furlong allowance here June 9.

Arlington shipper Chantilly Nayla, who was supplemented at a cost of $3,000, is in mediocre form.