09/07/2011 10:51AM

Woodbine: Flying Arch looking for her niche

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ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Flying Arch, who came up short here in her last two appearances, may find her calling sprinting on the grass in Friday’s eighth race at Woodbine. The 6 1/2-furlong maiden special attracted many well-bred fillies who are at various stages of their career.

Flying Arch started three times last year as a 2-year-old in England, the best of which was a second in a maiden race over Wolverhampton’s synthetic surface. Following a layoff of nearly eight months, she resurfaced here with trainer Josie Carroll, who sent her out to finish third in a July 1 maiden special over a mile on the grass.

Three weeks later, in her last outing, Flying Arch set a quick pace on a dead rail before tiring to finish a well-beaten fifth in a Polytrack route. She has worked extensively leading up to this engagement, and Carroll has respectable numbers with turnbacks.

Chinook Wind is another 3-year-old who commenced her career in England, where she didn’t show a whole lot. She has finished second or third in her three U.S. starts, which came in the spring. Most recently, in late April at Keeneland, Chinook Wind was third in a key maiden special over 1 3/16 miles of yielding turf.

The Roger Attfield-trained Chinook Wind is coupled in the Harlequin Ranches entry with the Reade Baker-trained Lode Lady.

Lode Lady has been idle since last Oct. 23, when she was beaten a nose in a tough one-mile maiden special on the grass.

The Sam-Son Farm entry of Strike Red and Crimson Spire should garner some wagering support.

First-time starter Strike Red, a daughter of successful sire Smart Strike, is a full sister to Red Strike, a stakes-placed turf expert. Strike Red’s half-sister Scarlet Butterfly was second in a Grade 3 stakes over the Fair Grounds turf. Strike Red has worked several times over the turf training course for trainer Malcolm Pierce.

Mark Frostad trains Crimson Spire, who was beaten five lengths after saving ground when seventh in her debut on the turf Aug. 10.

The longtime maiden Athena Rose was a prominent third in her lone turf race, which came over six furlongs July 15. The winner, Indian Pond, subsequently captured an allowance.

Sweet Cassiopeia could be the pacemaker in her first turf try. She is a full-sister to turf winner Sweet Starlet.