09/08/2011 12:27PM

Woodbine: La Prevoyante distance the challenge for Weekend Romance

Michael Burns
Weekend Romance captured the seven-furlong Passing Mood in July and stretches out to a mile for the La Prevoyante on Saturday.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Weekend Romance should be heavily favored Saturday at Woodbine in the $125,000 La Prevoyante Stakes, and her main obstacle in the turf route for Ontario-sired 3-year-old fillies might be the one-mile distance.

Weekend Romance is unbeaten in three 2011 outings, all in Ontario-sired company. She earned a Beyer Figure in the low 80s on each occasion. In her June 12 season opener, she won a six-furlong allowance on Polytrack by 6 1/2 lengths. She romped again after coming from just off the pace June 30 in her turf debut in a seven-furlong allowance.

Last time, in the seven-furlong Passing Mood Stakes on the grass, Weekend Romance went right to the front and set fast fractions before holding on for a half-length tally.

Trainer Catherine Day Phillips said she was surprised to see Weekend Romance as aggressive as she was in the Passing Mood, which was her first start under Luis Contreras.

“I don’t have a great explanation for it,” said Day Phillips. “She had learned to relax nicely in her first two starts of the year, and went when she was called upon. I think a mile is within her grasp if she runs the way she did in her first two starts of the year. Luis knows her better now.”

Day Phillips said Weekend Romance has worked solidly since the July 23 Passing Mood, including a five-furlong drill on Sept. 3 in 1:00.60 under Contreras.

“She’s had three breezes,” said Day Phillips. “The first one was an easy half in 52. Her next breeze was in company in the fog. She broke off about eight lengths behind her company, and finished about four lengths in front. I would guess that she went in around 1:01. That was certainly encouraging. She went nice and even in her last breeze with Luis. She listened to him. She certainly wasn’t looking to run off or anything.”

Bubbles to the Top should be in the hunt. After taking nine tries to earn her diploma, she has won three in a row, all for trainer Mike DePaulo. Her maiden triumph came over six furlongs in her only turf start June 22, for which she got a 70 Beyer.

Isabella Bay ran hot and cold in her two grass outings, which were both in stakes. She was third behind Bingo and Roxy Gap in the 6 1/2-furlong Ontario Damsel, and was beaten a pole in the 1 1/4-mile Wonder Where.