06/05/2012 1:08PM

Woodbine: Ballade win highlight of Tiller's weekend


ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Bob Tiller didn’t have a starter in the Woodbine Oaks, Plate Trial, or Nassau Stakes here last weekend.

But Tiller did manage to click with four of the five runners he sent to the post, with his three-bagger on Saturday including Anywhere in the $125,000 Ballade Stakes for Ontario-sired fillies and mares.

“It’s a streaky business,” said Tiller, who was second in the trainer standings with 18 winners heading into Wednesday night’s action.

Anywhere, a who races for Frank DiGiulio, was undefeated in her first three career outings last year.

But Anywhere, a homebred daughter of Where’s the Ring, had been second in her two tries at this meeting heading into the Ballade, which was Saturday’s sixth race.

“She didn’t have very good trips,” said Tiller. “I was glad to see her draw outside on Saturday.”

Anywhere, ridden by Luis Contreras, established a good position outside the other speed in the six-furlong Ballade and took charge in the stretch for a 1 1/4-length victory.

The $75,000 winner’s share brought Anywhere’s bankroll to $209,200.

“I’ve looked through the stakes schedule and there’s nothing more sprinting for Ontario-sired fillies,” said Tiller.

“But, she still has some of her allowance conditions.”

Anywhere, in fact, remains eligible for her second open allowance condition despite her four career victories.

It’s Gail concludes three-bagger

Tiller, who had clicked with Rio Bay in Saturday afternoon’s opener but then watched Lord of Greatness finish third in the fourth race, had his final starter of the day in the seventh, the race following the Ballade.

Tiller said he felt no extra pressure even though It’s Gail, who is out of Bob’s Choice, was named in honor of his wife, Gail.

“The owner named her,” said Tiller, who conditions It’s Gail for Rolph Davis.

Making her first lifetime start, It’s Gail was well back early but commenced a steady rally which carried her to a 1 1/4-length victory in the seven-furlong maiden race for Ontario-sired 3-year-old fillies.

“She had some ‘baby’ issues last year,” said Tiller. “We liked her coming into this race. I was more worried about the distance than the competition.

“She’s by Niigon; she should run a mile and a quarter.”

It’s Gail was purchased for $40,000 at the local select yearling sale and earned $30,000 for her victory on Saturday.

Tiller’s weekend wound up on a successful note as he sent out the first-time starter Jade Dragon under Contreras for a convincing victory in his 4 1/2-furlong debut in restricted maiden company.

“We’ve liked this horse all along,” said Tiller, who trains the homebred Jade Dragon for DiGiulio, Anthonry d’Onofrio, and John Peri.

“You need speed at 4 1/2 furlongs and I was worried that it might be too short for him.

“He did everything right he was very professional.”

Jade Dragon is nominated to the June 16 Victoria, an open five-furlong race which will be the first 2-year-old stakes of the meeting.

“He won’t run there,” said Tiller. “I’m going to keep him with Ontario-sired and Canadian-breds.”

Marketing Mix will point to Dance Smartly

Marketing Mix, who shipped in from Arlington Park to capture last Saturday’s $358,800 Nassau Stakes, will be staying on at Woodbine with an eye toward the July 8 Dance Smartly.

The Dance Smartly is a 1 1/8-mile turf race which, like the Nassau, offers Grade 2 status and a base purse of $300,000, plus $60,000 for eligible Ontario-breds.

Marketing Mix, bred in Ontario by Sean Fitzhenry, pocketed $216,000 for her 1 1/4-length score in the Nassau with a game Roxy Gap checking in second.

The Nassau was run over one mile of “soft” turf and the clocking of 1:37.74 was almost six seconds off the track record.

“I don’t think she really liked that going, and I think the one-turn mile was probably not to her best liking,” said Tom Proctor, who trains Marketing Mix for Glen Hill Farm.

“The jock rode her probably the way he should have. He didn’t push her hard around the turn.”

Accompanying Marketing Mix to Woodbine was Struck It Lucky, an Ontario-foaled 3-year-old filly who was bred by Sam-Son Farm and was a $300,000 yearling purchase at the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga sale.

Struck It Lucky is coming off a second-place finish in a six-furlong first-level allowance race at Arlington and breezed five furlongs in 59 seconds here last Saturday under Patrick Husbands.

Inglorious, who was beaten 3 1/4 lengths as the fifth-place finisher in the Nassau, was making her second start on turf for trainer Josie Carroll.

“I don’t think she had the best trip, down on the inside on that soft turf,” said Carroll, who also could bring back Inglorious in the Dance Smartly.

Forest Gamble wins debut in style

Carroll unveiled a runner here Sunday in Forest Gamble, an Ivan Dalos homebred who romped to a 5 1/2-length victory in her first lifetime start.

Forest Gamble, with Patrick Husbands in the irons, was clocked in 1:08.65 for six furlongs and earned a rare “won easily” comment from Equibase chartcaller Paul Turney.

“We’ve thought she was a nice filly all along,” said Carroll. “She had a few ‘baby’ issues, and Ivan Dalos was more than willing to put her away for the season.”

Forest Gamble’s Beyer Speed Figure was a respectable 82.

* Woodbine is selling reserved seats for the June 24 Queen’s Plate through the ticketing agency Ticketmaster.

The $18.50 price for the tickets includes a $3.50 service charge. That charge applies whether the tickets are purchased online or through the customer service department here at Woodbine.

* The entry box is open for the sixth annual Race Track Chaplaincy of Ontario’s golf tournament, which will be held at the Glen Eagle Golf Club on Monday, July 30. The $150 charge includes lunch, golf, dinner and a silent auction. Tickets for dinner and the silent auction only cost $75.

There will be $10 discount for orders received before June 30. To order tickets contact Chaplain Shawn Kennedy at (905) 713-4783 or chaplainshawn@hotmail.com.