09/07/2006 11:00PM

'Thrill' defies dirt pedigree


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Catch the Thrill has the potential to be any kind of runner. By a leading sire, A.P. Indy, she is out of Canadian Oaks winner Catch the Ring, Canada's champion 3-year-old filly in 2000.

Catch the Thrill will try to take her game to another level Sunday at Woodbine in the $150,000 Natalma Stakes, a one-mile grass event for 2-year-old fillies.

Catch the Thrill rallied inside for second when she made her debut in a six-furlong maiden special on the turf July 30. When stretching out to seven furlongs for another grass outing Aug. 20, she won by 1 3/4 lengths after running greenly.

"She's come along nicely," said trainer Mark Frostad. "She's not a real big filly at this point, and she's still a bit immature, but she's certainly shown some talent. She's been training well. A mile should suit her more."

Frostad said he kept Catch the Thrill on the turf this summer because he did not want to run her around the sharp bends of the inner track, even though her pedigree is best suited to the dirt.

"The A.P. Indys tend to be more dirt, and her dam was better on the dirt, although she broke her maiden on turf," Frostad pointed out.

The Grade 3 Natalma drew a field of 14, including the Reade Baker-trained Pulpit filly A.P. Reality.

Like Catch the Thrill, A.P. Reality has made both of her starts on grass. After ending up third in her opener, she won her maiden going six furlongs over next-out winner Funny Tune.

"She wasn't fit enough for her first race," Baker recalled. "That was my fault. She should never have been beaten. I didn't have her ready, but I thought she could overwhelm them with her talent, but she didn't. I had her ready the second time, and she's going to be a little better for this run, but so is the opposition."

Baker described A.P. Reality as a robust type, with a mind of her own.

"She's a big, drop-dead gorgeous horse," Baker said. "She's not the easiest horse to ride. She's a handful at times, but we've gotten her to this point."

American invaders Tremendous One and Gilded Arrow both won their only start on the turf at Saratoga.

Tremendous One, trained by Todd Pletcher, captured a 1 1/16-mile maiden special with a Beyer Figure of 78, easily the highest in the Natalma lineup.

The Graham Motion-trained Gilded Arrow won a 5 1/2-furlong maiden special sprint, earning a 71 Beyer.