07/12/2013 9:26AM

Woodbine: Akron Moon gets test of a mile in Ontario Damsel

Michael Burns
Dance Again missed the top four for the first time when she was a distant fifth in the Woodbine Oaks.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Trainer Mark Frostad would have preferred the shorter version of the $150,000 Ontario Damsel Stakes for Akron Moon. The turf race for Ontario-bred 3-year-old fillies was lengthened from 6 1/2 furlongs to a mile in 2010, to make it a viable prep for the 1 1/4-mile Wonder Where Stakes, and the speedy Akron Moon would have been a virtual lock at the shorter distance.

Nevertheless, Akron Moon will be among the favorites in the Damsel at Woodbine on Sunday.

Three weeks after spinning her wheels in the slop in her April 5 debut at Gulfstream, she led until deep stretch in a seven-furlong maiden special here on the Polytrack. Akron Moon turned back a bid from stablemate Daylight Cat during her front-running maiden score traveling 6 1/2 furlongs on the grass May 24. She subsequently lost the 6 1/2-furlong Alywow Stakes by a nose to favored Overheard after setting slow fractions.

“Her last three races were pretty solid,” said trainer Mark Frostad. “Finishing second in the Alywow, an open race, was a gutsy performance. This race will test her limits. That’s for sure. She’s a tough filly to train. She’s got a mind of her own. She’s very headstrong.”

Todd Kabel will ride Akron Moon, a homebred owned by Robert Evans.

Dance Again, trained by Malcolm Pierce for Sam-Son Farm, missed the top four for the first time when she was a distant fifth in the nine-furlong Woodbine Oaks on the Polytrack June 9. She was previously second in a nine-furlong allowance on the grass at Keeneland.

“She didn’t run great in the Oaks, but I had a bad feeling before the race that she really didn’t like the Poly that much,” Pierce said. “Hopefully, getting her back on the turf will get her back on track.”

Pierce said he was content with Dance Again’s half-mile Polytrack breeze in 47.80 seconds last Sunday.

“I thought she worked very well,” Pierce said. “She came out of the work in good order. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that we won’t have a bog – that we’ll have real turf by Sunday.”

Jesse Campbell picks up the mount on Dance Again, a nicely bred daughter of Awesome Again. Her second dam is 2001 Queen’s Plate winner Dancethruthedawn.

Trainer Mark Casse, who has won the last three runnings of the Ontario Damsel, sends out Bold Birdie. She is adding blinkers after finishing fifth in a one-mile optional claimer on the grass June 21.

May Dream and Adventure At Sea were both supplemented for $3,000 apiece.