09/11/2015 12:01PM

Strut the Course, Uchenna meet again in Canadian

Michael Burns
Strut the Course wins the Grade 2 Dance Smartly Stakes in July.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario – After a three-quarter-length defeat in the Grade 3 Ontario Matron Stakes on Polytrack last time out, Strut the Course will return to turf for Sunday’s Grade 2, $300,000 Canadian Stakes over 1 1/8 miles at Woodbine.

The winner of the Canadian will earn a fees-paid berth to the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf at Keeneland on Oct. 31.

Strut the Course rebounded from a troubled fifth-place effort in her 2015 debut in the Grade 2 Nassau Stakes by winning the Grade 2 Dance Smartly Stakes at this distance July 5. But she couldn’t get the better of Uchenna in the Ontario Matron in her most recent start July 25, finishing second. She’s been freshened since the Ontario Matron and appears to be in good order off three consecutive bullet breezes in the weeks leading up to this start.

“I gave her a break, and she’s doing great,” trainer Barb Minshall said. “Her last three breezes were awesome. I couldn’t be happier with her. She’s just a good horse.”

Key Contenders

Strut the Course (Last 3 Beyers: 92-92-90)

◗ She managed to hold off Watsdachances in the last few strides in the Dance Smartly. Watsdachances was placed first in her next start in the Grade 1 Beverly D. Stakes at Arlington on Aug. 15.

Hoop of Colour (Last 2 Beyers: 91-80)

◗ She will be making her first start since March 15, when she won the Grade 2 Santa Ana Stakes at Santa Anita with a stalking trip along the rail behind a slow pace. She won two of her four starts in England in 2014 before moving to North America this season.

Uchenna (Last 3 Beyers: 93-87-84)

◗ She beat Strut the Course in the Ontario Matron on Polytrack last time out. She shows better speed figures on Polytrack but has steadily improved with each race since joining trainer Roger Attfield’s barn in the spring.

Overheard (Last 3 Beyers: 90-81-92)

◗ She got back into the winner’s circle in her most recent start against allowance company after finishing a nonthreatening fifth in the Grade 3 Modesty Handicap at Arlington on July 11. She’s had success on this turf course, having won the Grade 2 Dance Smartly in 2014, and would benefit with pace to run at.

:: Woodbine Mile: Get PPs, watch Sunday’s card live

Habibi (Last 3 Beyers: 90-68-88)

◗ She made a late bid to win the Flaming Page Stakes over 1 1/2 miles here Aug. 15. She’s run well in both of her starts against fillies and mares at this meet but was no threat when facing males in the Grade 3 Singspiel Stakes on July 5. She’s also been entered in the Grade 1 Northern Dancer Turf against males earlier on Sunday’s card.