04/24/2008 11:00PM

Shilla faces two unbeaten invaders


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Shilla will take on two undefeated American shippers, Gloriously and Dowd Chapel, in the $150,000 Fury Stakes for Ontario-bred 3-year-old fillies at Woodbine Sunday.

Shilla put together an excellent 2-year-old campaign under the guidance of trainer Nick Gonzalez. After dropping her debut, she reeled off three straight victories, culminating in the Oct. 27 Fanfreluche Stakes.

Shilla earned a big 94 Beyer Speed Figure in the six-furlong Fanfreluche, but she ran flat in her final 2-year-old start, in the seven-furlong Glorious Song Stakes on Nov. 18.

"She was very sick after her last 2-year-old start," Gonzalez said. "She had something brewing, and it never really came to a head until after she ran. We couldn't ship her to Florida for a while until she got over it."

In her only start of 2008, Shilla won the five-furlong La Voyageuse Stakes here comfortably.

"She wasn't 100 percent, but I wasn't surprised that she won," Gonzalez said.

Gonzalez said Shilla has trained forwardly leading up to the seven-furlong Fury.

"I breezed her last week with Artie Hot, and she's ready to go," said Gonzalez. "She's done everything really good. From the time we started training her in January at Gulfstream, she hasn't had a hiccup. We don't train her hard, because she's a not a big filly, but she's progressed nicely."

Gloriously, a speedy Indian Charlie filly trained by Mark Casse, led throughout her debut, in a six-furlong maiden special on the dirt at the Fair Grounds March 1.

Gloriously doubled up in a first-level allowance on the Polytrack at Keeneland April 5. Her seven-furlong clocking of 1:23.20 translated into an 86 Beyer.

"We've always thought a lot of her," said Casse. "We thought last year that she was the best 2-year-old we had, but she got injured. When we ran her at the Fair Grounds, she got left a little bit, but she still ran the first quarter in 21.40. That's how fast she is. She won on the lead at Keeneland when nobody was winning on the lead."

Dowd Chapel made quite a splash when she debuted March 21 at Oaklawn. She set quick fractions on an uncontested lead, and won in a time that earned her a 91 Beyer.

Trained by Kelly Von Hemel, Dowd Chapel, has no synthetic-track experience.

Rounding out the field are Salomea, Call the Posse, Initforreal and Wind in My Wings.