07/22/2011 12:45PM

Woodbine: Biofuel should run better in Ontario Matron

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Michael Burns
Biofuel gets a more suitable distance for her second start of the season in the Ontario Matron.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Biofuel failed to deliver as the odds-on choice making her first start of the season in the seven-furlong Sweet Briar Too here at Woodbine on July 1.

But with that race under her belt, and stretching out to a distance at which she has done most of her best running, Biofuel will be well-backed to redeem herself in Sunday’s 1 1/16-mile Ontario Matron, a Grade 3 race worth $150,000.

Biofuel will be the 124-pound highweight in a field of seven fillies and mares.

“She came out of her race well, and she worked back brilliantly,” said trainer Reade Baker, who sent out Biofuel to breeze five furlongs in 1:00.60 on the training track here last Sunday. “We’re happy.”

Biofuel, who was bred in Kentucky by her owner, Brereton C. Jones, won Sovereign Awards as Canada’s Horse of the Year and outstanding 3-year-old filly for 2010.

She has won 4 of 6 starts at 1 1/16 miles, all in stakes races here. Her other efforts at the distance yielded a fourth-place finish in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies and a third in last year’s Mother Goose.

“Usually at 1 1/16 miles, you get a fairly honest pace up front,” said Baker, who does not appear to be overly concerned that the Ontario Matron lineup appears to be short on speed types. “Usually when it looks like that, you end up getting a few of them going.

Eurico Rosa Da Silva has ridden Biofuel in all but one of her 12 outings but is being replaced by Jim McAleney on Sunday.

McAleney rode Biofuel to a seventh-place finish here in the 2009 Natalma Stakes, a one-mile race which was her only try on turf.

Embur’s Song, second in the weights at 121 pounds, is the confirmed front-runner in the Ontario Matron mix.

Trained by Todd Pletcher, Embur’s Song comes in off a three-race win streak comprised of the Grade 3, 1 1/16-mile Doubledogdare at Keeneland; the Grade 3, 6 1/2-furlong Hendrie here at Woodbine; and the one-mile Windward at Presque Isle Downs.

Patrick Husbands, who rode Embur’s Song to her victories here and in Pennsylvania, retains the mount.

Hooh Why, a talented 5-year-old who was off her game here this spring, has shown speed on occasion when traveling around two turns and returns from a two-race Arlington stint in which she won at seven furlongs under classified allowance terms.

Trained by Mark Hoffman, Hooh Why is being reunited with rider Emile Ramsammy.

Indian Apple Is, the reigning Canadian champion in the filly-and-mare sprint division, has yet to find her best stride this season and is trying to turns for just the second time in her career.

Her first attempt at 1 1/16 miles resulted in an even-fourth place finish in an open allowance race here last spring..

Jesse Campbell will be riding Indian Apple Is for the first time.

Rounding out the field will be Ariana D, Dancing Raven, and Stormy Illusion.

Impossible Time will await Victoriana

The current heat wave has put a chill on trainer Roger Attfield’s stakes plans for the weekend with Impossible Time, Musketier, and Don Cavallo all being affected.

Impossible Time, a homebred 5-year-old who races for Charles Fipke, had been heading for the Ontario Matron but instead but will be staying in the barn on Sunday afternoon.

“I think it’s been a bit too hot for her,” said Attfield. “She’s in foal and she has some breathing issues, too.”

Impossible Time, who was Canada’s champion older mare of 2010, was bred to Speightstown in Kentucky this spring and finished third when making her first start of the season here in the June 18 Zadracarta over seven furlongs of turf.

The Aug. 14 Victoriana, a restricted 1 1/16-mile turf stakes in which Impossible Time romped as the odds-on choice last year, now becomes her next probable target.

Musketier will stay home for Nijinsky

Musketier had been slated to van to Arlington Park for Saturday’s Grade 3, $100,000 Stars and Stripes, which will be run over his preferred distance of 1.5 miles of turf.

But with the Chicago area also experiencing high temperatures Attfield called an audible and entered Musketier here in Sunday’s Nijinsky, which offers Grade 2 status and a purse of $300,00 but will be contested over 1 1/8 miles on the grass.

“I didn’t want to ship him in this heat,”’ said Attfield. “It might knock him out for the rest of the year.

“So, I thought I’d give him a shot in here. I’m shortening him up quite a bit, but I think he’ll be okay. It depends on how the race is run.”

Musketier was not among the original nominees to the Nijinsky, and had to be supplemented at a cost of $6,000.

Don Cavallo may try Sword Dancer

Don Cavallo, who was among the Nijinsky nominees, should be making his next appearance at Saratoga.

“I want to have a big fall with him,” said Attfield, who also cited the heat as a reason for keeping Don Cavallo in the barn this weekend.

While Attfield has not yet selected any specific spot for Don Cavallo at Saratoga he did mentioned the Sword Dancer, a Grade 1 turf race over 1 1/2 miles on Aug. 13, as a possibility.

“I want to see him run a mile and a half," said Attfield.

Don Cavallo, a Kentucky-bred 4-year-old colt who races for Stronach Stable, is coming off a career-best effort here in the July 1 Dominion Day, a 1 1/4-mile Polytrack race which he won in very convincing fashion.

Deputy Minister starts off big stakes week

A handful of stakes are on tap this week, beginning with Wednesday’s $125,000 Deputy Minister, a seven-furlong race for Ontario-sired 3-year-olds.

Saturday’s feature will be the $150,000 Duchess, an open seven-furlong race for 3-year-old fillies.

Next Sunday’s card will include a doubleheader of the $250,000 Wonder Where, a 1 1/4-mile turf race for Canadian-bred 3-year-old fillies, and the $150,000 Vandal, a six-furlong race for Ontario-foaled 2-year-olds.

The Grade 3 Royal North, a six-furlong turf race for fillies and mares which offers Grade 3 status and a purse of $150,000, headlines the Aug. 1 holiday Monday program.