07/12/2008 12:00AM

Woodbine: The Niagara Queen coasts


The Niagara Queen ($12.70) benefited from a very slow pace to capture the Grade 2, $336,300 Dance Smartly Stakes at Woodbine.

The Niagara Queen pressed an opening quarter in 25.94 seconds before setting middle fractions of 50.15 and 1:14.08 over a course labeled good in the nine-furlong event.

Sprung and favored Quiet Jungle both loomed into contention exiting the turn, but The Niagara Queen held them off and prevailed by 1 1/2 lengths, in a time of 1:50.01. Sprung finished second by a neck over Quiet Jungle in the seven-horse field of fillies and mares.

It was the third Dance Smartly score for jockey Jim McAleney.

"She was just dragging me," said McAleney. "I had a ton of horse. I knew it was going to take a real horse to outsprint us."

The Niagara Queen banked $210,000 for the Elite Racing Company and trainer Steve Asmussen.

o Chicago shipper Secret Getaway ($11.90) won his second straight Woodbine stakes while making his turf debut in the supporting feature, the $153,300 Toronto Cup.

Secret Getaway overtook Barreling Home around the eighth pole before drawing away for a 3 1/4-length tally. Favored Marlang was third in the seven-horse field of 3-year-olds.

Secret Getaway, trained by Mike Stidham, was also victorious in the Victoria Park Stakes here in June.