07/19/2012 3:20PM

Woodbine: Grace Phil heads Tiller trio in Passing Mood


ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Trainer Bob Tiller, who has won the Passing Mood Stakes twice, entered Grace Phil, Princess Pick, and Nikkis Bold Gelato in Saturday’s edition of the seven-furlong sprint for Ontario-sired 3-year-old fillies at Woodbine.

Grace Phil, an elegant chestnut by Philanthropist, is trying the grass for the first time. She took the South Ocean Stakes at 2 and an Ontario-sired allowance in her season opener. She has been freshened since finishing a distant fourth as the favorite in the May 20 Lady Angela Stakes.

Tiller said that though Grace Phil has never been on the grass, she has some breeding for the surface and is in peak form.

“She’s doing very well right now,” Tiller said. “She worked awfully fast the other day on the Poly, way too fast. I think she’s going into the race in very good order. Her last race was disappointing. She had some excuses, and I think we’ve corrected those issues.”

Princess Pick is a full sister to multiple stakes winner Top Ten List, who won the 2005 Passing Mood for Tiller. She notched back-to-back Ontario-sired sprints with determination in the spring, including an allowance where she upset her talented stablemate, Where Oh Where.

Tiller said Princess Pick wasn’t as focused as usual last time, when fourth in her turf debut in nonwinners-of-three allowance company.

“She was kinda lost out there,” Tiller explained. “She really didn’t know what was going on until the last eighth of a mile. She’s very sound, very fit. There’s no reason why she can’t run well.”

Nikkis Bold Gelato, like Princess Pick, is a daughter of successful turf sire Bold Executive. She has made a good living while competing strictly on Polytrack.

Nikkis Bold Gelato was stakes-placed twice at 2. She established soft fractions en route to winning each of her last two races, a pair of seven-furlong Ontario-sired allowances.

“She’s another filly who deserves a shot in the race,” Tiller said. “She’s gone through her Ontario-sired conditions. She’s doing well. Why not?”

Kitty’s Got Class is also experimenting on the grass. A daughter of good turf sire Old Forester, she swept the Victorian Queen and Fanfreluche Stakes in October, but was beaten in double digits in each of her two starts since then.

Estella was an impressive come-from-behind maiden winner traveling 1 1/16 miles in her next-to-last outing. She’s getting come class relief following a lackluster sixth-place finish against Ontario-breds in the Ontario Damsel Stakes.