08/19/2009 11:00PM

Trainer has shot in both Assiniboia stakes


Trainer Charles Smith could be in line for a stakes double at Assiniboia Downs on Saturday, with Lady Countdown heading a field of five in the Jack Hardy and Ruby's Big Band topping six in the Osiris. The Jack Hardy, a 1 1/16-mile race for 3-year-old fillies, and the Osiris, a six-furlong race for 2-year-olds, each offers a purse of $30,000.

Smith actually will send out three of the entrants for the Jack Hardy, with uncoupled stablemates Morsel and Enchanting also going postward. But it is Lady Countdown, a double stakes winner and 3 for 4 over the local oval, who looms as the best chance for her owner-trainer.

Lady Countdown has yet to win going this far, but did miss the runner-up spot by just a half-length when beaten 9 3/4 lengths in the one-mile Assiniboia Oaks last time out. Mark Anderson has the call for the Jack Hardy.

Morsel failed to fire when sixth in the Assiniboia Oaks but had acted up before the start and that could have compromised her performance. A solid second behind Hilton's Cherokee when facing males in the 1 1/16-mile Harry Jeffrey, Morsel also ended second to Lady Countdown when making her local debut at 7 1/2 furlongs, and could turn the tables at this distance. Leading rider Larren Delorme takes over.

Enchanted, the third member of the Smith trio, is coming off a second-place finish in a one-mile maiden race, which was her third start and first outing in Winnipeg.

Muffin's Star was eighth when facing males in the Manitoba Derby. Before that she posted sharp back-to-back wins over members of her own sex.

The Osiris favorite should be Ruby's Big Band, who won the 5 1/2-furlong Debutante in her Manitoba debut but then ran fifth in the Barenscheer Juvenile vs. males back at her home base of Canterbury Park.

Honorable Lady, runner-up in the Debutante, came back to defeat males in the 5 1/2-furlong Graduation.

The other stakes winner in the field is Whatcha Gonna Do, who captured the restricted North Dakota Stallion at six furlongs last time out.