10/07/2006 12:00AM

Strike Softly impressive in Carotene

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Strike Softly ($7.30) blew by favored Essential Edge early in the stretch en route to an easy win in the $151,600 Carotene Stakes at Woodbine.

Essential Edge and Feisty Woman dueled through moderate fractions over a course labeled good in the nine-furlong grass race. Strike Softly raced about four lengths off the lead on the backstretch under Todd Kabel, and loomed into contention exiting the turn. She split horses early in the stretch, and hit the front nearing the eighth pole before edging away for a two-length score over 15-1 shot The Niagara Queen. Essential Edge was another 1 1/4 lengths back in third in the nine-horse field of Ontario-foaled 3-year-old fillies.

In the Sept. 2 Ontario Colleen Stakes, Strike Softly finished four lengths behind victorious Essential Edge in second.

"Essential Edge got hooked today, and I think that made a big difference," Kabel said.

Strike Softly covered the distance in 1:50.46, earning $90,000 for Sam-Son Farm.