12/04/2012 2:22PM

Woodbine: Brew Blessings stands out in Thursday sprint


ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Thursday racing returns for the last two weeks of the Woodbine meet, with a post time of 2 p.m. All eight races on this Thursday’s card are claimers, and the newcomer Brew Blessings is an obvious contender in the seventh, a $20,000 sprint for nonwinners of two.

Brew Blessings won her maiden decisively traveling six furlongs over Keeneland’s Polytrack last April. After failing to threaten in her next two outings at Arlington, she was demoted from second to third by disqualification in a one-mile allowance there July 6. That was the Stronach Stable runner’s first try with Lasix.

Brew Blessings made her next two starts in conditioned claimers, which included a troubled second as the favorite in a $30,000 event at Keeneland. She switched to the dirt Oct. 31 at Churchill and could manage only fifth in a tough $30,000 claimer, which was won by a sharp filly who returned to capture an allowance at Fair Grounds.

Brew Blessings recently changed trainers, going from Wayne Catalano to Sean Smullen, who has been winning at a 22 percent rate with his new acquisitions. A hot Emma Wilson has the mount.

Coming out of five-furlong dashes, Penelopus should lead the way, but she may find the six-furlong distance of Thursday’s seventh too far for her.

Penelopus weakened late after setting the pace in a $16,000 claimer for nonwinners of two Nov. 11. Most recently in a $16,000 starter allowance, she closed wide on her left lead from a stalking position to finish third again.

Apprentice Skye Chernetz will ride Penelopus again for trainer Dave Cotey, who developed Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird.

Maelle also possesses speed, a style she used to finish second in an identical spot as this one Oct. 7. She failed to stay seven furlongs in her last outing, when she wound up fifth after setting a moderate pace.

Yankee Candy is a longshot possibility under Eurico Da Silva, who was aboard for her $32,000 maiden triumph in June. She finished third in back-to-back $12,500 claimers earlier this fall and was squeezed back at the break during a subpar performance most recently.

She’s Scary is making her first start for trainer Marty Drexler, who fared well with the claimed runners Wildcat Marie and Gentleman Jackson. She has had a break since ending up fourth behind Maelle on Oct. 7.

May Island is competing without blinkers after coming up empty in her latest, when she wore them for the first time.

Ima Single Lady rode an outside bias in a victory over $25,000 Ontario-sired maidens when she last saw action Sept. 21.