07/04/2005 11:00PM

A step up for Bold Little Lass


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Bold Little Lass goes from Ontario-sired allowance competition to an open preliminary allowance in Thursday's Woodbine headliner, a 1 1/16-mile event for fillies and mares, but she could make the grade.

A 4-year-old trained by Jim Smith, Bold Little Lass was winless in 11 starts in 2004, but her eight in-the-money placings enabled her to earn $80,390 on the year.

Bold Little Lass launched her current campaign in a six-furlong Ontario-sired allowance, in which she finished a fast-closing second to Baby Lou. She stretched out to 1 1/16 miles six days later and won by a length, earning a 74 Beyer Speed Figure.

Most recently, in a 6 1/2-furlong race against nonwinners-of-three types June 15, Bold Little Lass rallied wide over a speed-favoring track to finish third behind the Shot Gun Ela and favored Baby Lou.

Apprentice Corey Fraser inherits the mount on Bold Little Lass from apprentice Emma Wilson, who rides likely favorite Ascot Sparkle.

Ascot Sparkle earned $101,006 last year for the Hendrie Stable and trainer Mike Doyle. She won her first race against $50,000 maidens in July and won a slow nonwinners-of-two Ontario-sired allowance going long in November.

In her lone outing this year, an open 1 1/16-mile allowance June 5, Ascot Sparkle chased heavily favored Teeming throughout and finished second in perhaps her best career performance.

Wilson, who led the jockey standings at the beginning of the week, is 1 for 16 aboard Doyle-trained runners at the meeting.

Among the other contenders in Thursday's feature are On Account of Me, Turtle Drive, and Springledge.

On Account of Me hasn't run on the dirt since she was a distant fourth in the Bison City Stakes in July of last year at Fort Erie. She got the second half of 2004 off and finished fifth when she resurfaced in a seven-furlong grass allowance here June 12. She has posted two quick works leading up to this engagement.

Turtle Drive is jumping up off the claim from a key $25,000 contest, in which she was a troubled second. The winner, Bedazzle Em, subsequently doubled up for $25,000, and the sixth-place finisher, Far and Near, also came back to score at that level.

Springledge figures to be the pacemaker as she goes for her third straight win. She won two claiming sprints in the spring and is 1 for 3 in her three starts at 1 1/16 miles.