08/14/2005 11:00PM

Vaganova comes off a victory at this level


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - In a racing rarity, Vaganova remains at the same allowance condition following a stirring victory in Wednesday's Woodbine feature, a $62,500 optional claimer for fillies and mares.

Vaganova, a French import owned by Bill Diamant, won her maiden in her North American debut here in July 2003. She was subsequently sidelined for nearly two years, and was second when she returned to action in a June 12 allowance.

Vaganova was entered in another first-level allowance July 17, but was scratched by trainer Phil Gracey when the race was taken off the grass. She skipped a condition, trying a $62,500/nonwinners-of-two other-than race on July 23, and prevailed with determination as the favorite.

David Clark retains the mount on Vaganova, a royally bred daughter of Nureyev.

The 1 1/16-mile grass event has also lured the sharp duo of Warm Rain and Six Jiggles, along with Pandora's Secret and Turtle Drive.

Since her May 1 debut, Warm Rain has been first or second in each of her four outings on dirt and turf. She had an ideal front-running trip, setting a slow pace, when she captured a June 1 turf allowance for 3-year-olds, and she then finished second to the gifted Lemon Maid in the June 25 Hill 'n' Dale Stakes.

Warm Rain lost a heartbreaker on the main track July 28, finishing a neck back of Touchnow in second after carving out soft fractions. Apprentice Corey Fraser rides for trainer Bob Tiller, a potent combination at the meeting.

Six Jiggles wound up second in each of her last two races, both 1 1/16 miles on the grass. Most recently, in one of the better performances of her career, she rallied wide from midpack to end up 1 1/2 lengths in back of Vaganova.

Accomplished grass rider Jono Jones will get a leg up from trainer Gord Colbourne on Six Jiggles.

Pandora's Secret upset Vaganova when she took the June 12 allowance with ease, and was third in a difficult $80,000 optional claimer 13 days later. She was overmatched in each of her last two outings, a pair of Grade 3 stakes, and is looking to regroup here with leading rider Emma Wilson taking over.

Turtle Drive won a weak allowance first time off a $25,000 claim on July 7, before running third behind Touchnow and Warm Rain on July 28. Her lone grass attempt, in August 2004, was one of the worst efforts of her career.