05/28/2009 12:00AM

Tell It As It Is fresh, fit for Nassau

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Michael Burns
Tell It As It Is, winning last year's Maple Leaf on Polytrack, will return to turf Saturday.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Tell It As It Is has been pointing for the Nassau here at Woodbine since she returned to training this spring.

On Saturday, Tell It As It Is will get her crack at the Grade 2, 1 1/16-mile turf race for fillies and mares, and trainer Jim Smith expects the 5-year-old to have a say in the outcome.

"I think we've got a shot, definitely," said Smith, who conditions Tell It As It Is for the Cinnamont Stable of Richard Lister.

Tell It As It Is won the Tattling over 1 1/16 miles of yielding turf and the Maple Leaf over 1 1/4 miles of Polytrack here last year and finished up her campaign with a solid third-place finish in the Grade 2 Falls City at Churchill Downs on Nov. 27.

"After that she was turned out in Lexington for six weeks," said Smith. "Then Richard sent her down to Malcolm Pierce at the Fair Grounds to get ready for the Nassau. She was a little short for the race last year."

Tell It As It Is finished last of 10 when making her seasonal bow in the 2008 Nassau, but comes into this year's running off a fifth-place finish in a 1 1/16-mile turf allowance at Keeneland, where Pierce stopped over on his way back to Woodbine.

Since returning to Smith at Woodbine, Tell It As It Is has put together a string of drills, capped by a six-furlong move in 1:13 May 20.

"All of her breezes here have been very good," said Smith. "She's on the same program as last year - longer works, where she finishes up on end."

And, although she has handled the synthetic surface here well enough under racing conditions, Tell It As It Is takes almost all of her morning exercise on the dirt training track here.

"I think she's better on turf and dirt," said Pierce. "Aside from that, I think she just doesn't like to train on Polytrack."

All remaining well, Tell It As It Is is scheduled to return to dirt for the Grade 2, $1 million Delaware Handicap, a 1 1/4-mile race for fillies and mares on July 19.

Plate prospect emerges for Day Phillips

Mr. Foricos Two U tossed his hat into the Queen's Plate ring with a going-away two- length allowance score under Justin Stein in a restricted first-level allowance race here Wednesday evening.

"Distance-wise, we think the Queen's Plate's within his grasp," said trainer Catherine Day Phillips. "As long as he's happy and healthy, as he appears to be now, we'll aim in that direction."

Mr. Foricos Two U was recording his second straight win and traveling around two turns for the first time in Wednesday's 1 1/16-mile race after taking a restricted allowance over seven furlongs here May 9.

"I was very impressed with him, how kindly he relaxed," said Day Phillips, who conditions Mr. Foricos Two U for Rocco D'Alimonte and Frank Annecchini. "He was in a little bit of trouble around the quarter pole, but still managed to burst through when he got an opening."

Mr. Foricos Two U started once at 2, finishing fourth in a 5 1/2-furlong maiden race, and opened up his 3-year-old campaign with a near-miss at five furlongs prior to beginning his current streak.

"He's always had speed; that's why we ran him early," said Day Phillips. "We knew he'd be competitive at five furlongs, and we needed to get racing into him."

The $1 million Queen's Plate, a 1 1/4-mile race for Canadian-bred 3-year-olds, will be run here June 21.

D'Alimonte and Annecchini have been on a roll recently, with Day Phillips also sending out Selembao to win her maiden for the owners here last Sunday and Fashion Jenny to capture a $40,000 nonwinners of two on May 22.

Selembao, an Ontario-sired 3-year-old filly, graduated in front-running fashion at 1 1/16 miles after finishing fifth in her only previous start, which came at five furlongs.

"She's a fairly light-framed filly," said Day Phillips. "We're probably going to be fairly conservative with her. We won't be looking to run her back for four or five weeks."

That would put her out of the $500,000 Woodbine Oaks on June 7.

"It's too bad; she's probably nice enough to be an Oaks-type filly," said Day Phillips.

My Bad may be supplemented to Plate

My Bad is good to go for the Queen's Plate.

Although he is not nominated to the Queen's Plate, My Bad can be supplemented on entry day at a cost of $25,000.

"There's no pressure," said trainer Nick Gonzalez, who conditions the homebred My Bad for the Tucci Stable of Carlo and Lou Tucci.. "He's not even supposed to be there. Everything's got to be nearly perfect until June 18 or we just won't enter."

My Bad, who is Ontario-sired, started three times at 2 and won his maiden over six furlongs.

After opening up his 3-year-old campaign with a distant second-place finish behind El Brujo in the six-furlong Achievement, My Bad dropped into a restricted first-level allowance and was a comfortable winner over seven furlongs.

That race came on May 1, which marked the final deadline for Queen's Plate nominees. My Bad could have been supplemented then at a cost of $5,000 but the Tuccis elected to give the gelding the chance to determine his own fate.

"There was still some question whether he could go two turns," said Gonzalez. "There was a mile and a sixteenth race coming up at his next condition which was the perfect scenario to find out. He had to win the race, to pay his way into the Plate."

My Bad passed his test with flying colors, winning the restricted second-level allowance by 2 3/4 lengths here May 22.

"He settled nicely off the bridle but turning for home he locked right in, and kicked on," said Gonzalez. "He galloped out right around to the three-quarter pole."

Besides picking up $44,100, My Bad earned an eye-catching Beyer Speed Figure of 88.

Apprentice shaken up in spill

Apprentice jockey Natasha Sihota remained hospitalized on Thursday after being involved in a one-horse spill here Wednesday evening.

"They did a series of X-rays and they all came back negative," said Neal Wilson, who is Sihota's agent. "They are doing a CT scan [Thursday] and if that comes back negative she'll be released.

"She's a little sore and has some stiffness but she's doing well."

Sihota was thrown from her mount, Go Boldly, after attempting to come up the rail in the sixth race. Fifth-place finisher Dashingalltheway, ridden by Jono Jones, was disqualified and placed last in the field of eight after being found guilty of interference.

Go Boldly, who fell to the racetrack but bounced up quickly, seemed none the worse for wear on Thursday morning.