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Woodbine: Blue Heart seeks to bounce back in Ontario Colleen Stakes
By Ron Gierkink
ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Blue Heart will try to rebound from a hard-luck race in the Wonder Where Stakes on Saturday at Woodbine in the Grade 3, $150,000 Ontario Colleen Stakes. The one-mile grass route attracted a solid field of 3-year-old fillies, including the Maryland shipper Colonial Flag and a trio of Mark Casse-trained runners.
After finishing a close third in the June 3 Alywow Stakes, Blue Heart won her second start off a long layoff, traveling 1 1/16 miles on the Polytrack in the $250,000 Bison City Stakes.
Most recently on turf in the 10-furlong Wonder Where, Blue Heart saved ground in fifth through the far turn and then had nowhere to go in the stretch until jockey Alex Solis angled her wide with about a furlong left. She wound up three lengths back in sixth.
Trainer Brian Lynch lamented Blue Heart’s rough trip in the Wonder Where.
“She got pinned down on the inside,” Lynch said. “Dene Court backed up into her and she was pocketed there. When everybody else got to kick on, she was pinned there. She eventually got out, but by the time she got running again it was over.”
Lynch predicted another strong showing from Blue Heart, who captured the Mazarine Stakes at 2.
“Coming out of the mile-and-a-quarter race, she’s plenty fit enough,” Lynch said. “I freshened her up and breezed her five-eighths the other day. I was thrilled with the way she worked. I’m hoping we get a good, clean trip this time. A mile is probably one of her more effective distances, because she’s got a nice turn of foot.”
Colonial Flag is based at the Fair Hill training center with trainer Michael Matz, who sent her out to finish second in the Grade 3 Regret Stakes in June at Churchill.
Colonial Flag faded to eighth after getting fanned wide on the far turn when going 10 furlongs July 14 in the Grade 1 American Oaks at Betfair Hollywood Park.
“I don’t know what happened there,” Matz said. “She was in good form up until then. The jockey told me he thought she was going to win at the three-eighths pole, but when she got bumped and pushed out on the last turn, she sort of gave up. I don’t know if it was the hard turf, or the short turns, or what.”
Matz said that Colonial Flag has done well since her trip to Southern California.
“She’s coming into the race great,” Matz said. “I’d rather that it be a little longer, but it is what it is.”
Casse entered Sky Dreamer, Spirited Miss, and Sky High Lady.
Sky Dreamer, who dead-heated for third with Blue Heart in the Alywow Stakes, is fresh off a runner-up placing in the Grade 3 Arlington Oaks on Polytrack.
Spirited Miss won both of her outings this year, both on Polytrack, most notably the seven-furlong Duchess Stakes here July 28. She graduated first time out on the grass at 2 before ending up fourth in the Grade 3 Natalma Stakes.
Sky High Lady, who is winless in three turf starts, was a wide sixth in the Duchess.
- 1.Posted 06/18/2013 09:59AM
- 2.Posted 06/17/2013 01:04PM
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