10/03/2012 12:31PM

Woodbine: Class, not distance, the question for Anfield Park in Mazarine

Benoit & Associates
All Star Heart, winning the Rodondo Beach, is training at Woodbine for the $1 million E.P. Taylor on Oct. 14.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Anfield Park will be moving from the maiden ranks into Grade 3 stakes company for Saturday’s $200,000 Mazarine here at Woodbine.

But Steve Owens, who conditions Anfield Park for Empress Stable, knows that his filly will handle the 1 1/16-mile distance of the Mazarine, and the fact that she is Ontario-bred gives her a crack at shares of $50,000 in bonus money.

“She’s doing well,” said Owens. “She’s a big, good-looking, strapping filly and she’s really starting to mature.”

Anfield Park, purchased for $16,000 at the open session of the local Canadian Thoroughbred Society’s yearling sale, debuted with a distant fourth-place finish in a 5 1/2-furlong maiden race here July 8.

“She’d been going since the spring,” said Owens. “We started her up on the farm. We knew she wasn’t a sprinter but we got a good race into her, and she learned from it.”

Owens had contemplated bringing back Anfield Park in the Sept. 3 Muskoka, the seven-furlong yearling sales stakes for 2-year-old fillies here Sept. 3, but elected to opt for a mile and 70-yard maiden race the previous day.

Anfield Park obliged with a rallying 2 1/2-length victory under returning rider Omar Moreno, but there were some anxious moments in the immediate aftermath.

“She tied up. She didn’t even come back for the picture,” said Owens. “We’ve given her time in between, and she’s come back with a couple of good works. We didn’t want a fast work last time and she galloped out a mile. She did everything perfect.”

Spring Venture probable favorite for Mazarine

Spring Venture, winner of the Grade 2 Natalma at one mile on the turf course here last time out, will be making her Polytrack debut but looms the filly to beat in the Mazarine’s eight-horse field.

Patrick Husbands will be back aboard Spring Venture, who earned a berth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf with her Natalma win for trainer Mark Casse.

Friday, Husbands will be at Keeneland to ride Natalma runner-up Spring in the Air in the Grade 1, $400,000 Alcibiades Stakes.

The 1 1/16-mile Alcibiades is a Win and You’re In for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies.

Pierce has foursome stakes-ready

Trainer Malcolm Pierce notched his first stakes win as the trainer of record for Sam-Son Farm when Magic Broomstick captured the Avowal here last Sunday.

On Saturday, Pierce will be looking to build on that success with Sam-Son homebred 3-year-old fillies Part the Seas and Queen of the Waves running at home in the $150,000 Carotene and both Hotep and Forest Uproar heading to Hawthorne for respective appearances in the Robert F. Carey Memorial and Indian Maid.

Part the Seas is coming into the Carotene off a fourth-place finish behind older fillies and mares while competing under second-level allowance terms at 1 1/16 miles on the turf last time out. Prior to that, Part the Seas had finished fourth in the Wonder Where at 1 1/4 miles on turf and second in the Ontario Damsel over one mile on the same surface.

“I thought maybe the Wonder Where was maybe a little far for her,” said Pierce. “A mile and a sixteenth or a mile and an eighth, I don’t think it really matters.”

Part the Seas will be making her eighth career start in the Carotene. She debuted at the Fair Grounds in January.

“This will probably wrap up her season,” said Pierce. “She’s had plenty of races.”

Queen of the Waves, on the other hand, will be making just her fourth appearance and second of this season. She won a maiden race over 1 1/16 miles of grass here Aug. 26. That was her first start since last December.

“She came up with a little fracture,” said Pierce. “She was just ready to run when she won her last race. I could have looked for a nonwinners other than for her, but she can always come back to that. This is one of our last chances this season to run against straight 3-year-olds.

All Star Heart tunes up for Taylor

All Star Heart, Musketier, and Miss Cato all breezed five furlongs on the firm training track turf course with the dogs well out here Wednesday morning.

Alex Solis was aboard All Star Heart, who was clocked in 1:00.60 as she continues her preparations for the Grade 1, $1 million E.P. Taylor Stakes here Oct. 14.

Trained by California-based Ron McAnally, All Star Heart remained at Woodbine in Brian Lynch’s barn after finishing second in the Grade 2 Canadian Stakes here Sept. 16.

Musketier, with Solis, and Miss Cato, ridden by Patrick Husbands, went in company and were timed in 1:01.20.

Both are slated to make their next start in Grade 3 turf stakes at Keeneland, with Musketier’s target the $100,000 Sycamore at 1 1/2 miles on Oct. 18 and Miss Cato’s the $150,000 Valley View over 1 1/16 miles the following day.

Jenny’s So Great done racing

Jenny’s So Great, who finished sixth here in last Saturday’s Avowal Stakes, has been retired.

“She came out of her last race a little the worse for wear,” said Greg De Gannes, who trains Jenny’s So Great for owners Bill and Vicki Poston. “She’s going to be sold in November anyway, at the Fasig-Tipton sale, and she’s been good to us. We didn’t want to take any risks. She’ll be heading to Taylor Made in Kentucky on Friday. They’ll prepare her for the sale.”

Jenny’s So Great, an Ontario-foaled 5-year-old, retires as a multiple stakes winner with a record of 7-5-5 and earnings of $685,522 from 31 career starts.

Her four stakes wins, all on the turf and at distances ranging from five to nine furlongs, included the Grade 3 Royal North, Carotene, and Zadracarta at Woodbine and the Lightning City at Tampa Bay.

Jenny’s So Great also finished third this year in both the Royal North and in the Grade 3 Seaway over seven furlongs of Polytrack.

◗ Gemini Kane has joined the jockey agent ranks here and is booking mounts for journeyman David Garcia. Kane and Garcia celebrated their first win as a team last week when Cap Chat ($18.40) won a conditioned claiming race for trainer Scott Fairlie.

◗ Handicapper/author Jim Mazur will host a “Road to the Breeders’ Cup” seminar here Saturday, beginning at 11 a.m. on the third floor of the grandstand. Attendees will receive a free copy of Mazur’s “Crushing the Cup.” Pre-registration is available at WoodbineEntertainment.com/seminars.

◗ The local Racetrack Chaplaincy of Canada will be kicking off its annual Christmas shoebox campaign on Tuesday with a shoebox packing party beginning at 5:30 p.m. in the backstretch recreation room. Chaplain Shawn Kennedy will provide the shoeboxes, which will go to children in impoverished countries around the world, and gifts will be available for purchase. Pizza, music and video presentations will be added elements of the family-oriented occasion. For additional details or to contribute call Kennedy (905) 713-4783.