06/14/2006 11:00PM

Weight the only thing that could stop Monashee

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VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Monashee confirmed her spot as the top filly or mare in the province with a relatively easy win over the late-charging What a Blurr in the Strawberry Morn Stakes at Hastings last Saturday. The race was pretty much over when Monashee opened up a 3 1/2-length lead at the top of the stretch. David Wilson did get after her a bit down the lane, but Monashee appeared to have a lot left despite a diminishing final margin of 1 3/4 lengths.

According to Monashee's trainer, Tracy McCarthy, Monashee came out of the race in excellent shape and will be pointed to the Senate Appointee on July 3.

"It was a good race for her," said McCarthy. "It was her first time going long this year, so I wasn't surprised that she got a little tired in the stretch. We really hadn't pushed her going into the race, because if you get her too wound up it's hard to keep her on the ground. But she's feeling great and we'll bring her back for the Senate Appointee."

Monashee carried 119 pounds in the Strawberry Morn and will obviously pick up some weight for her next start.

"We want to run her here all year," said McCarthy. "And as long as she doesn't have to pack too much weight, we'll keep her here."

According to McCarthy, the major goal for Monashee is the Grade 3, $150,000 Ballerina Breeders' Cup on Oct. 14. McCarthy won't have to worry about weight in the Ballerina because it's run as a scale-weight race.

What a Blurr may want to avoid Monashee

What a Blurr ran a big race to finish second in the Strawberry Morn, but her trainer, Steve Henson, wasn't sure if she would run back in the Senate Appointee.

"She wasn't going to beat Monashee even if they ran around there another five times," he said. "She picked up a nice check for running second, but it would be better for her confidence if she could win a race. Of course she did go to the test barn, and since she was so far back she might have thought she won."

Despite Henson's protestations, it was a good race for What a Blurr. It was just the second time she had stretched out in her career and she closed strongly to finish seven lengths in front of La Belle Fleur, who finished third.

"I'm going to nominate her to the Senate Appointee, but I still haven't decided if I'll run her there or not," he said. "If we were going to beat Monashee we would have done it in the Strawberry Morn. Now that Monashee's had a race going long, I don't think anyone's going to beat her."

Shacane's second comeback under way

Shacane earned his way into the Grade 3, $125,000 Lieutenant Governors' on July 1 with an impressive win over a stakes-quality field in a 1 1/16-mile allowance race last Sunday. Shacane is in the midst of another comeback.

Shacane won the Grade 3 Premier's as a 3-year-old in 2002 but bowed a tendon while he was training in Southern California that winter. He didn't race in 2003, but following stem cell therapy on the tendon, he came back to run four times in 2004, winning an allowance race and placing in the Sir Winston Churchill. Shacane missed all of 2005, but he's back again following another session of stem cell therapy.

"Patience is the key to having a horse like Shacane make it back to the races," said his trainer, Peter Stephen. "Plus the stem cell therapy really works. Some people think a horse can come back by just giving him time off to heal, but I really believe he wouldn't have made it back without the stem cell treatment."

Shacane appears to be peaking at the right time. He just missed to Illusive Force in an allowance sprint May 22 and his final time for the race on Sunday was an impressive 1:43.81 over a track rated good.

* The probable favorite for the Lieutenant Governors', Quiet Cash, worked seven furlongs in a good 1:26 Monday morning. He galloped out a strong 1:39.20 for the mile.

* Jockey Mark Walker has been suspended and denied the privileges of the grounds for 30 days because of a positive test for marijuana. Walker returned to riding this year after being away from racing since 2000. He was having a good meet with 8 wins from 49 mounts.