09/29/2011 10:58AM

Woodbine: Atlantic Hurricane seeks fifth straight in Avowal


ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Atlantic Hurricane, coming off a sharp victory in the Grade 3 Seaway Stakes here at Woodbine on Sept. 3, will be looking for her fifth straight win in Saturday’s $100,000 Avowal.

The Avowal, a seven-furlong overnight turf stakes for fillies and mares, attracted a competitive field of 11, including stakes winners Amiable Grace, Ariana D, Jenny’s So Great, Moonlit Beauty, and Valli With a Vow.

Atlantic Hurricane, a Kentucky-bred 4-year-old, was claimed from a winning effort for $40,000 over seven furlongs of turf here June 10.

Racing for trainer Stuart Simon, who also is a partner in the group which owns the filly, Atlantic Hurricane then rattled off back-to-back wins in second-level optional $62,500 claiming races at 6 1/2 furlongs on the grass.

The Seaway, however, was her finest hour to date as Atlantic Hurricane dueled with the odds-on multiple stakes winner Embur’s Song and prevailed by three-quarters of a length under regular rider Emile Ramsammy.

“She’s doing well; she’s ready to go,” said Simon. “It looks like a tough enough race.”

Atlantic Hurricane has worked just once since the Seaway, breezing five furlongs in 1:02.80 on Sept. 22.

“I put a lot of long miles in her,” said Simon. “She gets lots of good out of that.”

Simon also is not overly concerned about the prospect of other speed in the race, with perhaps the most dangerous opponent in that regard being Moonlit Beauty.

“She’s found herself on the lead a couple of times, but I don’t think she needs the lead,” said Simon.

Moonlit Beauty returned from a two-month layoff to lead throughout the Belle Geste over seven furlongs of turf here Aug. 21 with Eurico Rosa Da Silva in the irons for the first time.

Trainer John LeBlanc also sent out Moonlit Beauty to win the Zadracarta, a seven-furlong turf race which also was restricted to Ontario foals, here in June 2010.

Ariana D is back at Woodbine with trainer Laurie Silvera following a second-place finish in the Grade 2, $400,000 Presque Isle Downs Masters at 6 1/2 furlongs on Tapeta.

Turf would seem to be the question mark for Ariana D, who finished off the board in her only two career outings on the grass with the most recent coming at Penn National last August.

“She didn’t run well in her two races on turf but I kind of think at that time she wasn’t the same horse she is now; wasn’t even close,” said Silvera. “I firmly believe that nine out of 10 horses that run well on Polytrack will run well on turf.”

Regular rider Omar Moreno will be reunited with Ariana D after a one-race hiatus.

Jenny’s So Great, beaten 1 3/4 lengths as the fifth-place finisher in the Presque Isle Masters, should appreciate the return to the turf after winning the Zadracarta and the Grade 3, six-furlong Royal North here this summer for trainer Greg De Gannes.