10/06/2010 1:36PM

Velvet Moss returning from break


ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Velvet Moss will add Lasix following a layoff in Friday’s Woodbine feature, and she should be prominent if the 6 1/2-furlong, first-level allowance remains on the grass.

Velvet Moss, 3-year-old filly, who is trained by Reade Baker for Stronach Stable, won her only start at 2, and was a nonthreatening sixth in her season debut in the May 7 Inaugural Stakes at Presque Isle Downs.

Velvet Moss is by French Derby winner Shamardal, so it wasn’t surprising to see her finish a good third in her turf debut in a 6 1/2-furlong allowance here July 18. The winner of that event, Woolly Bear, has since been competitive in two stakes.

Velvet Moss has been idle since Aug. 22, when she faded to fourth after participating in a speed duel in a 1 1/16-mile allowance that was taken off the turf and run on the Polytrack. She has worked encouragingly leading up to this event, which included a five-furlong breeze in a bullet 1:00.80 on the training track Oct. 1. Her new rider, Patrick Husbands, is 1 for 8 at the meet for Baker.

Panther Strike ran two solid races last month, after rejoining trainer Danny Vella’s barn. She left 11 rivals in her wake when she ran second in a seven-furlong allowance Sept. 8, and then found 1 1/16-miles a little too far when she was a weankening fourth Sept. 26.

Slade Callaghan retains the mount on Panther Strike, who lost the Ice Water Stakes by a nose two years ago during her 2-year-old campaign.

Sky Can Fly saw her two-race win streak snapped in a $32,000 claimer Sept. 10, when she wilted in the final furlong over a Polytrack that wasn’t kind to her speed style. She has never tried the turf, but her dam is by the influential grass sire Sky Classic.

Tigra Mara won her last race in a $40,000 conditioned claimer on the lawn with a Beyer Speed Figure of 75, the type of number which could make her competitive.

Also-eligible Dixie Chicken deadheated for third in her next-to-last outing, the Ontario Colleen Stakes, but she never fired as the favorite in a recent allowance route.

Main-track-only entrant Wildcat Marie stalked a rapid pace before tiring to third when she was boosted up to allowance company first-time off the $40,000 claim Sept. 18.