06/11/2008 11:00PM

Shot Gun Ela tries Ballade again


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Shot Gun Ela chased home Financingavailable in each of the last two runnings of the $125,000 Ballade Stakes, and with the retirement of Financingavailable last year, it could be her time to shine in Saturday's renewal of the six-furlong sprint for Ontario-sired females.

Shot Gun Ela, a 7-year-old with $415,769 in the bank, has been campaigned sporadically but judiciously by trainer Ross Armata. She set sizzling fractions before tiring to third while receiving a 90 Beyer Speed Figure in the 2007 Ballade on June 23. She didn't start again until her third-place finish in the Aug. 19 Rainbow Connection Stakes on turf at Fort Erie, and her two other starts last year in the fall were both forgettable.

"She ran big in [the Ballade] last year," said Armata, "but when Financingavailable breathed down her neck, that was it. I don't know what happened in that turf race at Fort Erie. There were three Woodbine horses in the field, and they all ran bad. Longshots finished one-two."

Shot Gun Ela's lone effort this year, in the Grade 3 Whimsical Stakes on April 20, was a good one. She battled another front-runner into submission before fading to third behind My List and Grade 2 stakes winner Bear Now.

Armata has pointed Shot Gun Ela toward the Ballade since the six-furlong Whimsical.

"She runs good fresh, which is why we didn't want to run her in between," Armata said. "She makes your job easy, because she's a good horse to be around. The owners are good because they let me run her when she's right. They don't want to run her too often."

You Will Love Me, a multiple restricted stakes winner in 2007, finished a fading fifth in her season opener in a 6 1/2-furlong turf event. Trainer Earl Barnett said he had no choice but to run her on the grass after some high-level allowance races on the main track failed to fill.

"I really didn't want the turf, but it was the only race I could get her into," said Barnett. "Even though she won the Passing Mood Stakes on the grass, I believe that she's a lot better horse on the Polytrack.

"When we scoped her after the race, she had pimples on her throat from a virus. She was treated for that, and everything's fine now. I'm confident that she's going to run a big race."