09/02/2010 2:04PM

Tribal Belle gets rematch with Indian Apple Is

Michael Burns
Tribal Belle won the Sovereign Award as top female sprinter of 2009.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Indian Apple Is managed to upset champion Tribal Belle when they met last in the July 1 Sweet Briar Too Stakes, and they will clash again over seven furlongs Saturday at Woodbine in the $150,000 Seaway Stakes.

Indian Apple Is was victorious second time out this year, in a third-level allowance/optional claimer. She tried a route of ground for the first time May 29, in a 1 1/16-mile allowance, and wound up fourth behind Tasty Temptation.

Trainer Bob Tiller shortened Indian Apple Is up to seven furlongs for the Sweet Briar, in which she rallied with the aid of an outside bias to prevail by three-quarters of a length over Tribal Belle. Tiller said he has aimed her towards the Grade 3 Seaway since that outing.

“We never really had anywhere else to run her,” said Tiller. “She’s fresh and in good order. I think six and a half to seven-eighths is her best trip.”

Chantal Sutherland will ride Indian Apple Is, a daughter of the red-hot sire Indian Charlie.

Tribal Belle was the Canadian champion female sprinter in 2009, during which she won 5 of 6 starts, including three stakes, under the guidance of trainer Terry Jordan.

Tribal Belle has started three times this year. After dropping her season opener by a nose in the Grade 3 Whimsical Stakes, she won the Grade 3 Hendrie Stakes over Grade 1 winner Dr. Zic, but then came up short as the heavy favorite in the Sweet Briar Too.

Tribal Belle won last year’s Seaway on the front end, and the speedy Mother Russia is entered Saturday, but that doesn’t bother Jordan.

“She doesn’t necessarily have to be on the lead,” said Jordan. “She runs just as good from off the pace.”

Jordan said the Seaway has been on Tribal Belle’s agenda since the Sweet Briar Too.

“We’ve been pointing for this one for quite a while,” said Jordan. “She’s a funny horse to train, but she’s come up to it very good. Hopefully, we can repeat.”

Mother Russia, based at Saratoga with trainer Linda Rice, has never competed on a synthetic surface. She set a lively pace before ending up second to favored Unzip Me here Aug. 2 in the Grade 3 Royal North Stakes on turf.

Grade 1 winner Hooh Why, fourth in the Aug. 22 Belle Mahone Stakes, was supplemented for $3,000.