09/14/2011 11:34AM

Woodbine: Brnjas looks to continue memorable run with Big Bold Dog


ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Ashlee Brnjas, who trains exclusively for Colebrook Farm, had an unforgettable last week, during which she won with three of 10 starters and got married to boot.

Brnjas sends out Big Bold Dog in Friday’s seventh race at Woodbine. Big Bold Dog should be among the favorites in the Ontario-sired allowance route for nonwinners of three lifetime.

Big Bold Dog struggled while sprinting in April, but he wound up a close fourth in a May 20 allowance going 1 1/16 miles, the distance of Friday’s headliner. He subsequently finished fifth in three straight allowances on the grass, including one over seven furlongs where he was beaten just 1 1/4 lengths.

Most recently going nine furlongs on the Polytrack, Big Bold Dog tracked a slow pace before fighting for the lead in the stretch, but came up a neck short of the favored winner, Nanaimo.

Brnjas had a lofty return on investment of $19.30 during the week of Sept. 7-11, which was fueled mainly by Reconnect’s 70-1 upset score in the La Prevoyante Stakes. She also won an Ontario-sired maiden special for 2-year-olds with Reconnect’s full brother, Seen It All Before.

Squeeze the Fox, another protagonist in the six-horse field, has proven to be well worth the $9,500 for which he was claimed in the spring. He graduated in a restricted maiden special route on the dirt at Fort Erie on July 10, while earning a career-best 75 Beyer Speed Figure.

Squeeze the Fox was second in a $12,500 conditioned claimer here Aug. 17. Just 11 days later, he was victorious in a much more lucrative Ontario-sired allowance, during which he set a fast pace before turning back a challenger in the stretch. He received a 73 Beyer in that race for nonwinners of two.

Not too Tacky was nosed out of second by Big Bold Dog after leading the way Aug. 27. Like Big Bold Dog, he is winless in seven appearances at the meet, but was beaten a nose in an allowance route on May 20.

Knave of Hearts is negotiating two turns for the first time since he finished a fading fifth in an Ontario-sired allowance in June 2010. Last time out, he was a well-beaten fourth in a seven-furlong, $40,000 conditioned claimer that was much tougher than this event.

Rounding out the field are longshots Brite Sabbeth and Pirate’s Legend, who is competing without shoes, as usual.