11/13/2006 12:00AM

Strike Softly puts finishing touch on year


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Strike Softly completed a productive campaign Sunday with an emphatic victory in the $151,200 Jammed Lovely here at Woodbine.

The Jammed Lovely, a seven-furlong race for Ontario-foaled 3-year-old fillies, was the third stakes win of the year for Strike Softly, who earlier this season captured the Carotene at 1 1/8 miles on turf and the Ontario Damsel at 6 1/2 furlongs on turf. She also finished third in the Star Shoot, a seven-furlong race on the old dirt track, and second in both the Ontario Colleen at one mile on turf and the Wonder Where at 1 1/4 miles on turf. Her season earnings are $377,900.

"She's pretty versatile - turf, dirt, long, short," said trainer Mark Frostad. "She'll do anything you want, and she's got that great kick whenever you ask her."

Strike Softly's win gave Frostad his eighth stakes victory here this year and rider Todd Kabel his meet-leading 13th stakes winner.

The Jammed Lovely was Strike Softly's second start on Polytrack. In her previous start, she finished fourth behind older rivals in the mile-and-70-yard River Memories here Oct. 28.

"She didn't seem to handle it that well the first time," said Frostad. "She handled it great Sunday."

Strike Softly soon will be heading to the Sam-Son spread in Ocala, Fla., to freshen up for her 2007 campaign. Frostad will be dividing his winter between Ocala and Fair Grounds, where he has 22 stalls.

In the meantime, the stable still has several important engagements before the conclusion of this meeting Dec. 10.

Catch the Thrill, an impressive winner of the 1 1/16-mile Princess Elizabeth here Oct. 21, is nominated to Sunday's $125,000 Glorious Song at seven furlongs but could await the $150,000 Ontario Lassie at 1 1/16 miles here Dec. 2.

"I'm leaning toward the two-turn race," said Frostad, who also plans to nominate South Ocean winner Moon Path in the Ontario Lassie. "That would give her a good break. She's training brilliantly."

Windward Islands and Count to Three also are scheduled to see stakes action here for Sam-Son and Frostad.

Windward Islands, a 2-year-old gelding, is a candidate for the $125,000 Display, a 1 1/16-mile race here Nov. 25.

Count to Three is heading for the $150,000 Bessarabian, a seven-furlong race for fillies and mares here Nov. 26.

Filly keeps connections on a roll

Howaboutrightnow's wire-to-wire victory in last Saturday's $187,300 Maple Leaf was the ninth stakes win of the meeting for trainer Mark Casse and the eighth for jockey Emma-Jayne Wilson.

A 1 1/4-mile race, the Maple Leaf was Howaboutrightnow's first start beyond 1 1/16 miles and marked her first win in a stakes. She has now won three straight.

"She gives it her all," said Casse. "With 50 yards to go, I thought she was beat. But at the wire, I thought she'd got her head back down. She battled back bravely."

A Florida-bred 3-year-old, Howaboutrightnow is owned and bred by Casse's father, Norman Casse. She is scheduled to head to Casse's Florida farm later this week.

"She'll have a little bit of a break," said Mark Casse. "She's run very hard. I might bring her back in a stake at Tampa Bay or at the Ocala Breeders Championships."

More stakes on Casse's schedule

Casse said he plans to be busy through the balance of the stakes schedule here, beginning with Legal Move and Here to Please in Wednesday's $125,000 Frost King for Ontario-sired 2-year-olds.

Sprung, a Kentucky-bred owned by Woodford Racing LLC, is slated to represent Casse in the Glorious Song. After winning the Grade 3 Natalma at one mile on turf in her debut, Sprung finished sixth in the Grade 3 Mazarine at 1 1/16 miles on Polytrack.

Approval Rating and Break Even, also owned by Woodford, are scheduled for the Display.

Approval Rating, a Florida-bred, won his maiden at 7 1/2 furlongs on the inner track in his second start, but then finished ninth in the Summer at one mile on turf here Sept. 17.

"I gave him a little break after he ran poorly in the Summer," said Casse. "He breezed the other morning on the Polytrack as good as I've ever had any horse breeze."

Break Even, a Kentucky-bred, won his maiden at a mile and 70 yards in his second career start and then finished third in a first-level allowance at seven furlongs.

Sealy Hill and Quiet Action, who also race for Woodford, are pointing for the Ontario Lassie.

Sealy Hill is coming off an impressive maiden score at seven furlongs. Quiet Action finished second in the Natalma and the Princess Elizabeth.

Casse also has Arch Hall gearing up for the $125,000 Sir Barton here Dec. 3.

Arch Hall, owned and bred by Eugene Melnyk, has won the last two editions of the 1 1/16-mile Sir Barton, which was restricted to Ontario-sired 3-year-olds in 2004 but was opened up to older Ontario-sired horses beginning last year.

Judiths Wild Rush ready to fire

Judiths Wild Rush worked five furlongs in a bullet 1:00.20 under regular rider Jim McAleney here Sunday and will be looking to put a hammerlock on a second consecutive Sovereign Award sprint title in Saturday's $125,000 Kennedy Road Stakes.

"We're ready," said Reade Baker, who trains Judiths Wild Rush for owner Harvey Tenenbaum.

Judiths Wild Rush, a Kentucky-bred 5-year-old, will be seeking his third sprint stakes win of the season in the Kennedy Road, a six-furlong race for 3-year-olds and upward.

Coy Coyote won't go in Glorious Song

Coy Coyote, winner of the Mazarine here Sept. 30, had been scheduled to wind up her campaign in the Glorious Song but has gone to the farm in Florida.

"We opted to put her away," said Baker, who trains Coy Coyote for Dick Bonnycastle's Harlequin Ranches. "We've done enough with her."

Coy Coyote, a Kentucky-bred 2-year-old filly, won 3 of 5 starts and $204,080 and also finished second in the five-furlong My Dear Stakes.

Baker said he still has Bear Bullet Too, Bear Now, and Lady Digby on target for the Glorious Song, a seven-furlong race for 2-year-old fillies.