04/12/2007 11:00PM

Sovereign finalists meet in Whimsical


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Hide and Chic and Vestrey Lady, both Sovereign Award finalists last year, will clash at six furlongs Sunday at Woodbine in the Grade 3, $125,000 Whimsical Stakes.

Hide and Chic, third in the Sovereign voting for champion older female, won the Grade 3 Royal North Stakes on the grass after an eight-month absence last August.

Hide and Chic doubled up in the Grade 3 Seaway on Polytrack here in September, then ran second in the Grade 3 TCA at Keeneland. She was a beaten favorite in the Nov. 4 Ontario Fashion Stakes.

Hide and Chic wintered at Fair Grounds with trainer Malcolm Pierce. She drilled five-eighths in 1:04 here April 1, and covered the same distance last Sunday in 1:02.

"I was disappointed with her work two works back, but I think she worked better this past Sunday," Pierce said. "I would have liked to have been a little farther ahead with her, get a start into her at the Fair Grounds before I left. But after we sent her home in the fall, we didn't get her back in time to be ready for anything. Whether or not she's ready for this one, I'm not sure. I think she's a little better going seven-eighths, but it's a place to get her started for the season."

Vestrey Lady was second in the Sovereign voting for champion 3-year-old filly. She won two open stakes here last year and was second under John McKee in the Grade 2 Raven Run Stakes at Keeneland.

Vestrey Lady was a prominent third when she came off the sidelines March 7 in a turf allowance at Gulfstream, an effort that pleased her trainer, Reade Baker.

"They were really fast horses, and she stayed right up there, even though she wasn't ready for the race," Baker said. "I didn't want to run in the Whimsical prep here because it was too close, and I also had to worry about whether it would go or not. I thought I'd need to run her in a prep to run in a race like this one."

Baker also entered Bosskiri, a multiple winner in Ontario sire stakes company. "She had the winter off," Baker said. "She's in great shape."

Baker said he will scratch one of his two entrants.

"We're leaning towards running Vestrey Lady," he said.