11/07/2011 1:08PM

Woodbine: Maritimer getting break after Coronation Futurity win


ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Trainer Sid Attard said Coronation Futurity winner Maritimer will be put away for the year, with an eye towards the 2012 Queen’s Plate, which hasn’t been won by a Coronation winner since Norcliffe in 1976.

“I’d like to quit and save him for next year,” said Attard. “Five starts, that’s enough for him. He’ll go to Florida for the winter.”

Maritimer graduated at first asking July 10. Three weeks later, the Norseman Racing Stable runner finished a close second to his stablemate Buongiorno Johnny in the six-furlong Vandal Stakes.

Maritimer made his next two starts over a mile on the grass. He ran second to Hard Not to Like in the allowance prep for the Summer Stakes, and was fourth behind Finale, Excaper, and Daddy Nose Best in the Grade 3 Summer on Sept. 17.

In the nine-furlong Coronation last Sunday, Maritimer closed quite wide from mid-pack under Luis Contreras to prevail by 2 1/4 lengths, in a good final time of 1:50.91.

“We’ve been very high on this horse, all year long,” said Attard. “He was skinny in his hind end, but since [the Summer], he filled out and put some weight on.”

Casse makes good call

The logical spot for the lightly-raced allowance winner Masked Maiden was a second-level/optional claimer, a race that she surely would have won last Saturday. Trainer Mark Casse, however, decided to take a shot with the white-faced 3-year-old in Saturday’s Maple Leaf Stakes instead, when that race came up light.

“I had the option of running her in a two-other-than, but I thought this might be a great spot to go for $175,000,” said Casse. “I thought she would like the mile and a quarter a lot.”

Casse’s decision reaped significant dividends when Masked Maiden won the Maple Leaf under a patient ride from Omar Moreno. She trailed the five-horse field for the first mile, before rallying wide in unison with favored the Kentucky shipper La Gran Bailadora. Masked Maiden went better than the Mike Maker-trained La Gran Bailadora in the final furlong and scored by three-quarters of a length, in 2:04.96. She ran her final quarter-mile in a rapid 23.20 seconds and earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 88.

“It was quite remarkable, what she ran the last quarter in,” said Casse. “I’ve been really impressed with her. The way that she won her last start was amazing to me – the way that she accelerated after getting stopped after she had run a mile. I didn’t know that we could beat [La Gran Bailadora], but if she could sit back and relax and kick home . . . . Even if we could have finished second or third, it would have been an accomplishment, to get some black type. Omar rode her just the way I asked him to. It looked like she was a little cranked up before the race, and I was a little worried that he was going to have a tough time getting her to relax, but she relaxed no problem.”

Casse also sent out Indian Pond in the Maple Leaf, finishing third. He said he has no concrete plans for either 3-year-old filly, although he mentioned the Grade 2 Falls City Nov. 24 at Churchill Downs as a possibility for Masked Maiden.

“I might bring her to Churchill, and we’ll see how she trains,” said Casse.

Biancone ‘really happy’

Trainer Ralph Biamonte was tickled with Menlo Castle’s spotty run in the Coronation. In his first start beyond 6 1/2 furlongs, he rallied very wide from sixth to finish a clear second under Patrick Husbands.

“We’re really happy with it,” said Biamonte. “Patrick said he spit the bit at the three-eighths pole, but when Luis went by him, he picked it up and started running again. He showed that he can go two turns.”

Biamonte said his speedy double stakes winner, Jenna’s Wabbit, will make his next start around two turns here Nov. 26 in the $125,000 Kingarvie Stakes, for Ontario-sired 2-year-olds.

Jenna’s Wabbit had everything his own way on the front end Nov. 2, in the $125,000 Frost King Stakes. He set a slow pace before drawing clear on his left lead in the stretch to win comfortably. It wasn’t as visually impressive as his seven-length tally off a layoff Oct. 10 in another Ontario-sired stakes, the six-furlong Bull Page, but he increased his Beyer Figure power, from a 79 to an 82.

“We think he can go long,” said Biamonte. “His mother didn’t, but other horses in his pedigree went long.”

Biamonte said he also plans on running recent allowance winner Run in Aruba in the 1 1/16-mile Kingarvie.