04/28/2011 12:06PM

Woodbine: Marketing Mix trying stakes company


ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Marketing Mix came to hand quickly this year, winning her maiden over seven furlongs at Keeneland in just her second career start.

On Saturday, Marketing Mix will be looking to make the successful transition into stakes company when she starts in the seven-furlong Fury for Ontario-foaled 3-year-old fillies.

“She got there early Wednesday morning, and she’s doing well,” said Tom Proctor, who trains Marketing Mix for Glen Hill Farm.

“She came out of her race out here good. I think she wants more ground than seven furlongs, but this seems like a logical place to start.”

While the Fury has been a major stepping-stone toward the $500,000 Woodbine Oaks, the 1 1/8-mile race for Canadian-bred 3-year-old fillies which will be run on June 5, Proctor does not look beyond the moment.

“All I’m worried about is this race right now,” said the trainer, who had sent out Marketing Mix to finish a troubled sixth in her debut over six furlongs at Gulfstream in her only previous start.

Emma-Jayne Wilson has picked up the mount on Marketing Mix, who will break from post 5 in the Fury’s field of six.

Claim by Romans enters Fury fray

Spooky Kitten, based in Kentucky with trainer Dale Romans, also will test the local waters in the Fury.

After noting her impressive win for $15,000 over 5 1/2 furlongs at Turfway Park on April 13, Romans reached in and claimed the filly on his own account for $20,000.

In that race, which came over six furlongs at Keeneland, Spooky Kitten was a romping 7 1/2-length winner, earning a Beyer Speed Figure of 81. Marketing Mix had been awarded a Beyer Figure of 79 for her straight maiden victory.

“I claimed her because she’s Canadian-bred, and I thought there was some money to be made up there with her, after she ran so well on Polytrack,” said Romans.

While Marketing Mix is scheduled to return to Proctor after the Fury, Spooky Kitten could remain at Woodbine.

“I haven’t decided yet,” said Romans.

Black N Beauty slated for Queenston

Black N Beauty, a solid second behind Oh Canada in his local debut for Romans in the six-furlong Woodstock here April 16, is scheduled to return for next Saturday’s seven-furlong Queenston.

“He ran a good race,” said Romans. “He came running.”

Black N Beauty had trailed the field of eight midway through the Queenston but rallied to be beaten by three-quarters of a length in the Woodstock.

The Queenston is the next stakes stepping-stone on the road to the $1 million Queen’s Plate, the 1 1/4-mile race for Canadian-bred 3-year-olds which will be run here June 26.

Big Red Mike spotted to start year

Big Red Mike, last year’s Queen’s Plate winner and champion 3-year-old male, will make his seasonal debut here Saturday.

The seven-furlong race, which was offered with third-level allowance, optional $80,000 claiming, and a nonwinners-since-April-15,-2010 conditions, attracted a field of six that also includes stakes winner Jungle Wave and the comebacking Artic Fern.

“I didn’t know they’d brought the race back,” said assistant trainer Martha Gonzalez, whose husband, Nick, is Big Red Mike’s trainer. “I’d entered him in it last week, but it didn’t go.

“I was supposed to breeze him Wednesday morning but I couldn’t, because of the fog. If I’d breezed him, I wouldn’t have been able to enter him here. I’m glad to get him in. He’s ready to run.”

Gonzalez, in fact, had her eye on an upcoming 1 1/16-mile allowance race for Big Red Mike’s return.

“I think it’s better to run him seven furlongs the first time, to get the edge off him,” she said.

“He’s a little cranked up. He’ll be better with one into him.”

Artic Fern, who was heading into last year’s Queen’s Plate as one of the leading candidates, was injured just days out from the race and will be making his first start in almost 11 months.

“I didn’t plan on going here,” said Mike Keogh, who trains Artic Fern for owner/breeder Gustav Schickedanz. “I don’t think he’s quite ready.

“But, a race is worth three or four works, so why not run him?”

Artic Fern was perfect in three starts last year, winning his maiden at 6 1/2 furlongs and then romping through his first two allowance conditions at 1 1/16 miles.

Keeping it real with Say No More

Keogh also has a Queenston candidate in Say No More, who made a successful seasonal debut in an open first-level allowance at 5 1/2 furlongs here last Sunday.

Say No More, a homebred who races for Schickedanz and partner Don Howard, was not nominated to the Queen’s Plate, and there are no plans to supplement him.

“We ran him in the Coronation last year, and he just didn’t get the trip,” said Keogh, who had watched Say No More falter to finish a well-beaten 10th here in the 1 1/8 mile Coronation Futurity. “He was done at the three-sixteenths pole.

“We decided not to nominate to the Plate. We didn’t want to be tempted.”

Euro Platinum back, facing six

Another allowance race on Saturday’s card, which is the best of the meeting to date, features the first start of the year for stakes winner Euro Platinum.

Owned and trained by Audre Cappuccitti, Euro Platinum was unraced at 2 and was making her 12th and final appearance of 2010 when she scored by a nose at 40-1 in the seven-furlong Jammed Lovely.

On Saturday, Euro Platinum will have six rivals, including the stakes-winning Dancing Raven, in a six-furlong, second-level optional $62,500 claimer for fillies and mares. Jono Jones, aboard for her Jammed Lovely score, will be back aboard.

“She’s training well. I’m excited to see her run,” said Cappuccitti.

Cappuccitti did not nominate Euro Platinum to the six-furlong Whimsical, which was the first stakes race of the meeting for fillies and mares, but did ante up for the 6 1/2-furlong Hendrie.

The Hendrie, which offers Grade 3 status and a purse of $150,000, will be run here May 14.

“It’s only 15 days – I don’t think I’ll do it,” said Cappuccitti. “I’ll see how she comes out of this race.”