10/28/2011 10:37AM

Woodbine: Ariana D tops Ontario Fashion Stakes

Michael Burns
Ariana D wins the off-the-turf Avowal Stakes on Oct. 1 at Woodbine.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Ariana D, the leading candidate for champion female sprinter honors in Canada this year, heads Sunday’s $150,000 Ontario Fashion Stakes, a six-furlong dash for fillies and mares at Woodbine.

Ariana D notched her local debut in the seven-furlong Bessarabian Stakes last November, a race that trainer Laurie Silvera also has in mind for her again this year. She commenced her current campaign by running second in two consecutive Grade 3 sprint stakes, including the six-furlong Whimsical.

Ariana D went on to finish second in back-to-back route stakes in the summer. She was probably best when traveling 6 1/2 furlongs in the Sept. 10 Presque Isle Downs Masters, a Grade 2 stakes on Tapeta, during which she got bumped at the break before closing very wide for second.

Ariana D was the main beneficiary when the Oct. 1 Avowal Stakes was taken off the turf. She came charging from off a quick pace to win that seven-furlong event going away, registering a career-high 95 Beyer Speed Figure.

“She’s in great shape,” Silvera said. “Six furlongs isn’t quite her cup of tea, but she’s in good order. Her last race was against a weaker bunch of horses.”

Atlantic Hurricane was softened up in a speed duel when third as the favorite in the Avowal. She won the Grade 3 Seaway Stakes on the lead Sept. 3 while upsetting heavily favored Embur’s Song. Atlantic Hurricane got a 91 Beyer for the effort.

American shipper Waccamaw figures to link up with Atlantic Hurricane on the front end. She led the way in last year’s Ontario Fashion, before ending up second to eventual champion female sprinter Indian Apple Is.

Waccamaw won her last outing in a 4 1/2-furlong allowance at Presque Isle. She was previously ninth after setting a rapid pace in the $400,800 Presque Isle Masters.

Fantastic Cousin was in good second-level allowance/optional claiming form, before ending up second in the Avowal. Six furlongs is a little shorter than what she prefers.

Mullins Beach is starting for the first time since she wound up second in a March 19 stakes on the grass at Fair Grounds. The 5-year-old won two stakes at 3, the Ontario Damsel and La Voyageuse, and she has worked regularly for new trainer Josie Carroll.

Completing the field is Dance to the Moon, who is turning back off a fading sixth-place finish in the restricted Classy ’N Smart Stakes.