04/28/2010 12:00AM

Tasty Temptation may need more ground


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - The talented Tasty Temptation returns from a nine-month layoff Friday at Woodbine in the fourth race, a second-level optional $62,500 claimer for fillies and mares.

Tasty Temptation, a late bloomer by the top sire Medaglia d'Oro, needed five tries before she won her maiden in March 2009 at Santa Anita. She was subsequently a fast-closing second here last May in the La Lorgnette Stakes, beaten a half-length by Hooh Why, who had won the Grade 1 Ashland a month earlier at Keeneland.

Tasty Temptation finished 1 3/4 lengths ahead of Milwaukee Appeal in the 1 1/16-mile La Lorgnette, but Milwaukee Appeal came back to turn the tables on her June 7 in the Woodbine Oaks. Tasty Temptation broke about 10 lengths behind the field in the nine-furlong Oaks, but rallied to pass nine horses and earned a 93 Beyer Speed Figure for her runner-up finish.

Two weeks later, Tasty Temptation checked in fourth against males in the $1 million Queen's Plate. She has been idle since her come-from-behind triumph July 25 on soft turf in the 1 1/4-mile Wonder Where Stakes, the third leg of the Canadian triple tiara.

Trainer Mark Casse said the 6 1/2-furlong distance of Friday's feature isn't ideal for Tasty Temptation.

"It's a little short for her, but she's been training well, and I wanted to get her started back," said Casse, who has been winning at a 12 percent clip with six-month-plus layoff runners.

Patrick Husbands has the mount on Tasty Temptation, who has been working regularly on the Polytrack.

The versatile Maryland invader Holiday Girl is a logical contender. Among her last three starts, she finished second in a pair of optional-claiming turf sprints, races that sandwiched a lackluster performance in an allowance route on the grass at Gulfstream.

In her lone Woodbine appearance two years ago at 2, Holiday Girl ran second to Selva in the seven-furlong Glorious Song Stakes, while leaving Hooh Why in her wake.

Jim McAleney will ride Holiday Girl for trainer Steve Klesaris.

Trainer Bob Tiller will saddle Knocker and Rashnaa in the feature.

Knocker, a 7-year-old mare with more than $500,000 in the bank, hasn't started since Dec. 6, but has acquitted herself well off a layoff in the past.

Rashnaa closed for fourth over a speed-conducive track when she came off the sidelines April 17.