06/07/2012 11:27AM

Woodbine: Blues Dancing has key versatility


ETOBICOKE, Ontario – The May 20 Lady Angela was the first stakes win for Blues Dancing and her up-and-coming trainer, Katerina Vassilieva, who will run back against males on the grass Saturday at Woodbine in the $125,000 Bold Ruckus Stakes.

Blues Dancing has come a long way since she crushed $20,000 maidens in November. After starting twice at Gulfstream, she was victorious in a five-furlong allowance here April 8. In the seven-furlong Lady Angela, an Ontario-sired event, she went right to the front and never looked back to score comfortably.

Vassilieva said Blues Dancing is versatile in terms of running style, which should come in handy in the six-furlong Bold Ruckus, a race that’s chock-full of speed.

“She can go to the lead, or she can run from off the pace, in a stalking position,” Vassilieva explained. “I’ve seen her do it both ways. I’m confident that whatever way the race plays out, she’ll be in the right spot.”

Vassilieva said she was content with Blues Dancing’s fading fifth-place finish in her lone turf start in an open allowance at Gulfstream.

“She tried really hard,” Vassilieva recalled. “She had some trouble with her ankle then, so I thought she ran really well considering. She was in a little bit of discomfort. I expect she’ll run better here, because she’s in better shape now. That ankle doesn’t bother her any more. Also, the turf there was very firm, and I think it will be kinder here this weekend. She might have a little bit of an edge, because she’s one of the few horses in the race with turf experience.”

The speedy Jenna’s Wabbit is the most accomplished runner in the Ontario-sired dash for 3-year-olds. He won two restricted stakes in the fall before undergoing minor ankle surgery, which delayed his return to competition. Trainer Ralph Biamonte said the strapping gelding is plenty fit for his first start of the year.

“We thought he was ready a few weeks ago,” Biamonte explained. “We put a couple more nice works into him, but I’m always skeptical the first start. Being on the grass, there are too many unknowns. He’s in good order. I think he’s a better horse this year than last year.”

Biamonte said he has few clues regarding Jenna’s Wabbit’s ability on the grass.

“I’ve never had him on it,” Biamonte said. “I’m just hoping that being by Old Forester, and with the size of his feet, that he will like it. If we don’t get any more rain, it should stay hard, too. I don’t really want it soft for him, because he’s such a big horse.”