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Woodbine: Atlantic Hurricane should benefit from return to turf in Avowal
By Bill Tallon
ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Atlantic Hurricane found the going tough when travelling 6 1/2 furlongs over the Tapeta surface in the Grade 2 Presque Isle Masters on Sept . 8. Now Atlantic Hurricane will be looking to regroup here at Woodbine in Sunday’s $100,000 Avowal, a seven-furlong turf overnight stakes which attracted a field of 10 fillies and mares.
“Everything went along really good at Presque Isle, up until the draw, when she got the No. 2 post,” said Stu Simon, trainer and part owner of the 5-year-old Atlantic Hurricane. “She broke a step slow and there we were, trapped inside in an 11-horse field. The rail was dead. They were winning out in the middle of the track all night. She just got beat 2 1/2 lengths for second. With a trip, she should have been second.”
Atlantic Hurricane had finished second, beaten a half-length, here in the Grade 3 Royal North over six furlongs of turf prior to her trip to Pennsylvania.
“She’s good on either surface, but sometimes I’ve thought she was a little better on turf,” said Simon, who sent out Atlantic Hurricane to win the six-furlong allowance prep for the Royal North over six furlongs of turf.
Atlantic Hurricane finished a well-beaten third in last year’s Avowal, which was taken off the grass, but bounced back to win two straight stakes on Polytrack and nail down the title as Canada’s champion female sprinter.
Regular rider Emile Ramsammy retains the mount on Atlantic Hurricane, who will begin from post 3.
Jenny’s So Great, a turf specialist, moved to the main track for the Grade 3 Seaway here Sept. 1 and finished third in the field of five for that seven-furlong stakes.
“I think it achieved what we set out to do, to get her graded stakes placed on the main track,” said Greg De Gannes, who trains Jenny’s So Great for owners Bill and Vicki Poston. “She’s already a graded stakes winner on turf.”
That success came in last year’s Royal North, and Jenny’s So Great has won three other stakes, all on the turf. Luis Contreras retains the mount on the Ontario-bred 5-year-old.
Trainer Malcolm Pierce has entered three horses in the Avowal, with Magic Broomstick and Forest Uproar representing Sam-Son Farm and Miss Inclined owned by Mueller Thoroughbred Stable Ltd.
Magic Broomstick, a 6-year-old who has placed in three stakes here, including the Grade 2 Canadian over 1 1/8 miles of turf in 2011, is making her first start since finishing third in the one-mile River Memories on soft going here last Oct. 23.
“She’s been ready now for two months,” said Pierce. “I’ve entered her a few times but the races didn’t fill. This race is maybe a little short for her, but I’ve got to get her started.”
Forest Uproar, also 6, won a minor stakes at the Fair Grounds in 2011 and has placed in six other stakes, all on the turf.
Making her Polytrack debut last time out, Forest Uproar was beaten three lengths as the fifth-place finisher in the 1 1/16-mile Belle Mahone here Aug. 19.
Patrick Husbands has been named on both Magic Broomstick and Forest Uproar.
Miss Inclined is coming off a rallying score under classified allowance terms in a seven-furlong main-track race here Aug. 24. The Kentucky-bred 4-year-old Miss Inclined also has won on turf and will be ridden by Justin Stein.
Tee Game won the 1 1/16-mile Algoma, the yearling sales stakes for fillies and mares, in her last start here Sept. 3.
Stars to Shine tunes up for Taylor
Stars to Shine, who is coming off a third-place finish in the Grade 2 Canadian Stakes at 1 1/8 miles on the turf here Sept. 16, breezed five furlongs in 1:01.60 on the training track turf course here Friday with her regular rider Alex Solis in the irons.
Trained by Mark Frostad, the 5-year-old Kentucky-bred Stars to Shine is scheduled to make her next start in the Grade 1, $1 million E.P. Taylor Stakes at 1 1/4 miles on the turf here Oct. 14.
Barefoot Lady, who had shipped over from England and stayed on for the E.P. Taylor after winning the Canadian, never really got out of a gallop while going seven furlongs in 1:39 on the training turf under traveling head lass Alyson Deniel. The time was not fast enough to be regarded as an official workout.
Stars to Shine and Barefoot Lady are among 42 fillies and mares on the list of nominees for the E.P. Taylor, which was released on Friday along with the nominations for the same day’s Grade 1 Canadian International, Grade 1 Nearctic, and Grade 3 Durham Cup.
All Star Heart, who shipped in from California to finish second in the Canadian, and Kapitale, fourth there as the favorite, also remained here with an eye toward the E.P. Taylor.
The Grade 1, $1.5 million Canadian International attracted 25 nominees with the only locally based horses being Forte deiMarmi and Stormy Lord.
Scalo, who came here last month with his long-term objective of the Canadian International, finished second in the Grade 2 Sky Classic at 1 1/4 miles on the turf here Aug. 19 and fourth in the Grade 1 Northern Dancer over the Canadian International’s 1 1/2-mile course and distance four weeks later.
Al Khali, beaten a neck as the runner-up in the Northern Dancer, has been penciled in for a return trip.
Other prospective invaders from south of the border include Air Support, winner of Belmont’s Grade 2 Bowling Green over 1 1/4 miles of good going on Sept. 8, and Prince Will I Am, sixth when returning from a 15-month layoff for the Grade 2 Bernard Baruch over 1 1/16 miles of turf at Saratoga on Sept. 1.
There is a strong European flavor to the Canadian International list but at this early stage the only probable shipper Is Joshua Tree, a 5-year-old horse trained by Marco Botti.
Joshua Tree won the Canadian International in 2010 and finished second in last year’s running.
Nancy O preps for New York stakes
Nancy O breezed four furlongs in 49.80 seconds on the main track here Friday and is slated to make her next appearance at Belmont next weekend in either the 1 1/16-mile Frizette or the Miss Grillo at 1 1/8 miles on the grass.
Trainer Carolyn Costigan was aboard Nancy O, who worked in company with stablemate My Bonnie Boy, who was clocked in 50.20 under jockey Ryan Pacheco.
“He’s got plenty of speed in him,” said Costigan, of the 3-year-old My Bonnie Boy. “I was very pleased with the way she picked him up and went by him.”
Costigan’s current lean is to the Frizette, which would be Nancy O’s first start on dirt, but an off track could redirect the filly to the Miss Grillo.
Nancy O is a maiden after three starts, all on turf, but ran well when second to the colt Are You Kidding Me in the Summer Stakes prep over seven furlong mile of turf and third in the Grade 2, one-mile Natalma.
Royal Egbert recuperating from surgery
Royal Egbert, who finished ninth of 10 as the 5-2 second choice in last Saturday’s Overskate Stakes, underwent knee surgery this week and has gone home for the season.
“They took out three fragments,” said Paul Buttigieg, owner, trainer, and breeder of the 4-year-old Royal Egbert. “He’ll come back next spring, no problem.”
Royal Egbert had won his three previous starts this season and became a stakes winner in the 6 1/2-furlong Shepperton Stakes for Ontario-sired 3-year-olds and upward here Aug. 6.
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