08/22/2012 1:05PM

Woodbine: Look for Man Stuff out front


ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Man Stuff didn’t enjoy running off the lead in the Duchess Stakes, and she figures to rebound as the lone speed in Friday’s Woodbine headliner, a third-level optional claimer over seven furlongs.

Man Stuff, a 3-year-old trained by Nick Gonzalez, won her first two outings on the front end in the spring before ending up a close third in the Alywow Stakes on the grass.

Man Stuff notched her first stakes win July 7 in the Sweet Briar Too, setting dawdling fractions before holding off the troubled 4-year-old Roxy Gap, who came back to take the Grade 3 Royal North Stakes. Gonzalez said he was reluctant to run her in the seven-furlong event, but did so to avoid a two-month gap between starts.

“I had entered her in a two-other-than for 3-year-old fillies, but the race didn’t go,” Gonzalez said. “The Sweet Briar Too was Plan B. As the race unfolded, we got lucky, because there wasn’t a lot of speed in there. She got an easy lead and was strong through the stretch.”

Man Stuff drew the one hole most recently in the seven-furlong Duchess, in which she raced in fourth through the turn before fading to finish 14 lengths back in eighth.

Man Stuff, who breezed five-eighths in 59.80 seconds on the training track last Sunday, will have Eurico Da Silva up again on Friday.

Azameera is making her first North American start following a seven-month layoff. She was unplaced in her two synthetic-track excursions, which were both on the Tapeta surface at Meydan in Dubai.

A half-sister to Grade 3 stakes winner No Explaining, Azameera captured two handicaps last year on the grass in England.

Azameera is going on Lasix. Journeyman Jim McAleney will ride her for trainer Mark Frostad, a combination that is 2 for 9 at the meet.

Miss Inclined was along for third in her last appearance, which came in the Sweet Briar Too. She had a successful three-race winter campaign at the Fair Grounds under the guidance of trainer Malcolm Pierce.

Skylara pressed the pace before weakening to fourth in the Sweet Briar Too. She was previously second at this optional-claiming class after blowing a clear lead in the stretch.

Leading rider Patrick Husbands will get a leg up on Skylara from trainer Roger Attfield, who has been heating up of late.

Rounding out the field is Dance to the Moon, who runs with a $75,000 tag following a sixth-place finish on turf in the six-furlong Royal North.