10/20/2008 12:00AM

Tell It As It Is gets the distance in Maple Leaf


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Tell It As It Is recorded the biggest win of her career and provided a new career highlight for her trainer, Jim Smith, when scoring by a nose here in Sunday's $180,350 Maple Leaf Stakes.

Making her 14th career start Sunday for owner Richard Lister, Tell It As It Is had become a stakes winner in the $104,000 Tattling, an overnight stakes over 1 1/16 miles of yielding turf here June 18. She underlined her versatility in the Maple Leaf.

"I knew she'd like a mile and a quarter, and she got to run the race she was capable of running," said Smith, who had watched Tell It As It Is suffer from a couple of undesirable trips this season.

Tell It As It Is, a Kentucky-bred 4-year-old, was making her first start in six weeks and just her sixth of the season in the Maple Leaf and will be looking south for her next target.

"There's nothing for her here," said Smith, who mentioned the Nov. 15 Cardinal and the Nov. 22 Falls City at Churchill Downs as possible spots in which Tell It As It Is could continue her campaign.

Both the Grade 3 Cardinal, on the turf, and Grade 2 Falls City, on the dirt, are 1 1/8-mile races for fillies and mares.

High Mist shows new dimension

Jockey Emma-Jayne Wilson, who now has ridden Tell It As It Is in each of her five career victories, registered her eighth stakes win of the meeting in Saturday's $150,000 Fanfreluche with High Mist.

Wilson gained the mount on High Mist, who was undefeated in two starts for trainer Reade Baker, after the filly's regular rider Eurico Rosa Da Silva decamped to Santa Anita to be with the Baker-trained Bear Now and Fatal Bullet during their final Breeders' Cup preparations.

An Ontario-bred 2-year-old filly owned by Norman Chernie and Wendy Anderson, High Mist led throughout her first two outings and showed a new dimension when coming from just off the pace in the four-horse field for the six-furlong Fanfreluche.

"She was pretty effective," said Baker, who watched the Fanfreluche from Santa Anita. "I told Emma that I'd prefer for her not to be on the lead and that if she could get an outside stalking trip I'd be very happy."

While High Mist did not quite get that desired trip, as she was in tight and forced to bull her way between horses into the stretch, the result was never in doubt once she hit the front and powered away to score by 2 1/2 lengths.

"I'd wanted to try to get her back if she was going to stretch out in the Princess Elizabeth in two weeks," Baker said. "I think she'll handle two turns. She wins so easily. It's not like she's stopping in the last eighth. She's pulling away from them."

High Mist will have to be supplemented at a cost of $7,500 to the $250,000 Princess Elizabeth, a 1 1/16-mile race for Canadian-bred 2-year-old fillies here Nov. 1.

Baker won last year's Princess Elizabeth with Mrs. Began, who was recording her first win in her fourth career start.

Mrs. Began, owned by Zayat Stable, has yet to recapture that form and finished second last time out in an allowance race at Fort Erie on Aug. 24. Baker said the filly recently was transferred to Steve Asmussen.

Quelle Beaute gets first stakes win

Trainer Roger Attfield was experiencing a touch of deja vu after sending out Quelle Beaute to win last Saturday's $102,100 River Memories.

On Aug. 31, Attfield had entered both Not Bourbon and Sand Cove here in the Vice Regent.

But Not Bourbon, winner of the Queen's Plate and the much more celebrated of the two runners, had to be scratched after coming up with a problem on race day.

Attfield also entered a pair in the River Memories, with Red Birkin looming as the more fancied runner only to be a late scratch.

"I was really high on Birkin," Attfield said. "But she just wasn't herself; she wasn't right. I couldn't run her like that. Of course, Sunday morning she was all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed."

Fortunately, Quelle Beaute was an effective understudy as she scored by 1 3/4 lengths under jockey Jim McAleney in the River Memories, an overnight stakes for fillies and mares over one mile of turf.

Making the success all the more significant for Quelle Beaute was the fact that it was her first stakes win and she will be heading to the breeding shed next year.

"She's been knocking on the door," said Attfield, who had sent out Quelle Beaute to finish a closing third in the Avowal over seven furlongs of turf three weeks earlier. "There are a lot of races she could have won."

The River Memories had been slated to be the last start for Quelle Beaute, a 5-year-old owned by Julio Bozano, who races and breeds horses under the name of Haras Santa Maria de Araras.

Her sharp current form, however, may earn Quelle Beaute another shot at a swan song south of the border.

"I'll take a look and see what there is, on the turf at a mile or shorter," Attfield said. "If it didn't make sense, we wouldn't go."

Attfield runners work on turf

Spice Route and Perfect Shower, both of whom are eyeing $250,000 stakes for Attfield on the turf here this weekend, worked five furlongs in 1:05 while going in company over the turf course here last Saturday.

"They just had a good, strong gallop," Attfield said.

Spice Route is coming off a second-place finish in the Canadian International and will be a leading contender for the Grade 2 Sky Classic, a 1 3/8-mile race for 3-year-olds and upward.

Perfect Shower, a maiden after four starts, is coming off a distant seventh-place finish in the Grade 3 Summer and will be looking to rebound in the Cup and Saucer, a 1 1/16-mile race for Canadian-bred 2-year-olds.