05/07/2008 11:00PM

Toka finds softer spot in sprint


CALGARY, Alberta - Trainer Doug MacDonald thought enough of Toka to nominate her to last Sunday's Mount Royal, but the presence of Sovereign Award winner Dancing Allstar and undefeated local champion Littlemiss Allison (who predictably ran one-two) made him wait for another day.

Toka gets her chance to shine when she goes in a first-level allowance/optional $32,000 claimer that runs as the third race on Saturday's program.

It was a fairly easy decision to make with Toka, a 3-year-old filly who makes just her third lifetime start and faces eight rivals in the six-furlong sprint.

Toka's career has already had some interesting turns as she was favored first time out in a half-miler and looked to be home on the lead prior to yielding late to Executive Cheyenne, who is among her foes Saturday.

Giving up a long lead going just four furlongs is not cause for celebration, but MacDonald added a tongue tie and Lasix for Toka's next outing going six furlongs.

And, Toka was visually impressive in drawing off to a 3 1/2-length victory amidst a raging snowstorm, which subsequently caused the cancellation of the final three races that evening and three subsequent cards.

Bred in Alberta by her owner Max Gibb, Toka has recorded two solid four-furlong works since then and is the one to catch in this spot despite meeting more seasoned rivals.