05/22/2005 11:00PM

Super in Selene, Gold Strike on track for Oaks


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Gold Strike thrust herself squarely into the picture for the June 12 Labatt Woodbine Oaks with an impressive victory here in last Sunday's Grade 3 Selene.

Making her second local appearance for trainer Reade Baker, Gold Strike ran away from the favored Lemon Maid through the final furlong of the 1 1/16-mile Selene and won by 5 3/4 lengths under jockey Jim McAleney. Gold Strike earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 96 and avenged a loss to Lemon Maid in her previous start, the six-furlong Star Shoot here April 24.

"She was super," said Baker. "I don't think she'll bounce, but it's always a concern when they run that powerfully."

Owned by Harlequin Ranches, Gold Strike was a $5,000 supplementary nominee to the $500,000 Oaks, a 1 1/8-mile race for Canadian-bred 3-year-old fillies. Gold Strike also was supplemented for $15,000 to the $1 million Queen's Plate, a 1 1/4-mile race for Canadian-bred 3-year-olds here June 26.

"If she runs well enough in the Oaks, we'll run her in the Plate," said Baker. "That's been our plan."

Bosskiri preps for Lady Angela

Bosskiri, another talented Oaks nominee trained by Baker, breezed five furlongs in 1:01.20 here Sunday.

Undefeated in three starts, including her season debut against older rivals at six furlongs, Bosskiri looms a prohibitive choice for Saturday's $125,000 Lady Angela.

The Lady Angela, a seven-furlong race for Ontario-sired 3-year-old fillies, could serve as Bosskiri's stepping-stone to the Oaks. Baker, however, said he would prefer to reserve Bosskiri for the $250,000 Labatt Bison City, a 1 1/16-mile race for Canadian-bred 3-year-old fillies at Fort Erie July 4.

River Nore, winner of the seven-furlong Fury for Baker here May 8, worked five furlongs in 1:01.80 Monday and is headed straight to the Oaks, according to Baker.

"We're trying to get some weight on her prior to the Oaks," said Baker. "She had a brilliant gallop-out this morning."

Americans steal show at Marine

The Grade 3 Marine at 1 1/16 miles is billed as a prep for the $1 million Queen's Plate, but last Saturday's running of the Marine turned out to be a showcase for American-breds, with Unbridled Energy, Wholelottabourbon, and Palladio taking the top three spots. Unbridled Energy, the lone shipper in the Marine field, proved best by a neck under Todd Kabel. Owned by WinStar Farm, Unbridled Energy is based in Kentucky with Elliott Walden, whose last stakes winner here was Briarcliff in the 1996 Selene.

Wholelottabourbon, Canada's champion 2-year-old male last year, was stretching out for the first time and lost little luster in defeat.

"It has to be pretty obvious to everybody that he has a good deal of heart and determination," said Nick Gonzalez, who trains Wholelotta-

bourbon. "A mile and a sixteenth was always a question mark."

The next open stakes here for the 3-year-old division is the $125,000 Victoria Park, a 1 1/8-mile race June 12.

"Whether I want to go that extra sixteenth of a mile, I'll have to think about that," said Gonzalez.

Wholelottabourbon was sired in Ontario, and the $125,000 Deputy Minister, a restricted seven-furlong race for 3-year-olds here July 20, is an enticing long-term target.

Enough Is Enough injury worsens

Enough Is Enough was the best of the Canadian-breds in the Marine, finishing fourth by 1 1/2 lengths under jockey Patrick Husbands. Trainer Steve Attard reported Monday, however, that Enough Is Enough exacerbated a foot bruise during the race.

"Patrick said he had a ton of horse, but in the last eighth of a mile he just flattened out," said Attard, who also is a co-owner of Enough Is Enough. "It was a combination of his foot and having run his heart out in his first race back. Hopefully we can fix his foot now, and go straight to the Plate."

Enough Is Enough began his 2005 campaign in the seven-furlong Queenston here May 7, when he finished second by a head.

Plate Trial nominees work

Three Plate hopefuls worked over the main track here Saturday, with Dave the Knave breezing five furlongs and Atanas and Granique going one mile in company.

Dave the Knave was clocked in 1:01.80 while going with Simply Lovely, Canada's champion 2-year-old filly and a Lady Angela nominee.

"You have to put a horse with him when he works," said Bob Tiller, trainer and co-owner of Dave the Knave. "He just does what he has to do."

Dave the Knave is nominated to two races: the $75,000 Afleet, a six-furlong overnight stakes for Ontario-foaled 3-year-olds here Sunday, and the $150,000 Plate Trial, a 1 1/8-mile race for Canadian-bred 3-year-olds June 5. He scored a one-length allowance victory in his season debut May 6.

Atanas was timed in 1:43.60 under jockey Rui Pimentel, and Granique was timed in 1:45.20 under Julia Brimo. Atanas and Granique are both trained by Alec Fehr and owned by Knob Hill Stable.

"It didn't go according to plan, but I wasn't really disappointed," said Fehr of the works. "Basically, Granique got a little confused about starting at the wire. He's quite an unfocused horse and a lazy horse in his training. He needs someone racing beside him, to push him along. Atanas has a ton of speed and just got away on him."

Turf runners take the track

The turf training track opened for the first time this season Sunday, with a session restricted to nominees for the Connaught Cup and Nassau Stakes.

Le Cinquieme Essai (1:02.40) and More Bourb (1:00.40) both worked five furlongs in preparation for Sunday's Grade 3, $150,000 Connaught Cup, a 1 1/16-mile race for 4-year-olds and up, which will be the first turf stakes of the meeting.

Le Cinquieme Essai and More Bourb were entered in last Sunday's Connaught Cup prep but were scratched when that race was switched to the main track.

Mona Rose worked six furlongs in 1:12.20 and is headed for the Grade 2, $300,000 Nassau, a 1 1/16-mile turf race for fillies and mares here June 4.