07/20/2011 4:10PM

Woodbine: Niigon's Princess tries to extend Black's hot stakes hand in Jammed Lovely


ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Trainer Ian Black’s barn already has won five stakes races with older horses this year, with Stormy Lord contributing a pair and Fifty Proof, Rahy’s Attorney, and Don’s Folly adding singles.

On Saturday, the stable will be looking to establish a stakes toehold in a different division when Niigon’s Princess runs in the $125,000 Jammed Lovely, a seven-furlong turf race at Woodbine for Ontario-sired 3-year-old fillies.

Niigon’s Princess, a $40,000 purchase at the local select yearling sale, has made eight starts, all in Ontario-sired company. After recording a second-place finish from four outings at 2 last year, Niigon’s Princess came up with her best effort to date as the runner-up at seven furlongs in her second appearance this year.

Trying turf for the first time in her next start June 10, Niigon’s Princess pressed the pace before taking charge for a three-length victory as the 2-5 favorite at 1 1/16 miles.

“I don’t know how good a race it was,” said Black, “but she did it impressively.”

Cutting back to seven furlongs on the turf for her most recent outing, Niigon’s Princess stalked the pace and rallied to finish second, beaten three-quarters of a length in a first-level allowance on July 2.

“She made a move, then kind of hung, then came on again,” said Black
“She looks like she improved when she got on the turf.”

Zee Beauty, who defeated Niigon’s Princess that day, also is back for the Jammed Lovely, which attracted a field of seven.

Weekend Romance, perfect in two starts this year, including a restricted second-level allowance romp in her turf debut at the Passing Mood distance, is widely considered to be the filly to beat. But, there also will be considerable support for Sinister Quill, who is coming off a close third-place finish when facing males in the restricted Bold Ruckus at six furlongs on the turf.

New format fails to help fill field for Mobil

Black had hoped to run Southdale, another member of his older male division, in Saturday’s $100,000 Mobil but the overnight stakes was scrapped after failing to attract the requisite five entrants.

Last year’s inaugural running of the Mobil, for Ontario-foaled 3-year-olds and scheduled over 1 1/8 miles of turf, was switched to the main track and attracted a field of five. This year, only the name was the same as the Mobil was a 1 1/8-mile Polytrack race for 3-year-olds and upward and is being run three months earlier.

“It didn’t do very well last year,” said Steve Lym, racing secretary and a director of racing at Woodbine. “We thought there might be an opening for a restricted race on the dirt at this time.”

Fifty Proof gets new rider

Fifty Proof became a stakes winner in the Grade 3 Eclipse over 1 1/16 miles of Polytrack here May 28 and then finished a solid second behind Court of the Realm in the Grade 2 King Edward over one mile of turf.

On Sunday, Fifty Proof is slated to return in the Grade 2 Nijinsky, a 1 1/8-mile turf race for 3-year-olds and upward.

Justin Stein rode Fifty Proof in each of his 13 starts but is being replaced by leading rider Luis Contreras for the Nijinsky.

Court of the Realm will use Seagram Cup as Woodbine Mile prep

Court of the Realm was nominated to the Nijinsky but will await the $150,000 Seagram Cup, a Grade 3 race over 1 1/16 miles of Polytrack here Aug. 6.

The King Edward was the stakes debut and first turf success for Court of the Realm, a Kentucky-bred 4-year-old colt who was extending his win streak to five dating back to last September.

“The Seagram fits for him a little better,” said trainer Peter Berringer. “The goal is to get to the Woodbine Mile. We have the Seagram and the Play the King, possibly.”

This year’s Woodbine Mile, a Grade 1, $1 million turf race for 3-year-olds and upward, will be run on Sept. 18.

The Play the King, a seven-furlong turf race which offers Grade 2 status and a purse of $200,000, goes Aug. 28 and also is the next stakes target for Stormy Lord. In his most recent appearance Stormy Lord won the Ontario Jockey Club, a seven-furlong overnight turf stakes for Ontario-foals here a week ago Wednesday.

Rahy’s Attorney skips Nijinsky

Rahy’s Attorney won the Nijinsky in 2009 but finished fifth when uncomfortable over yielding going this year. He was not even nominated to Sunday’s running.

“He’s waiting for the With Approval,” said Black, with reference to the 1 1/8-mile overnight turf stakes for Ontario-foals that is scheduled for Aug. 13.

Shepperton logical for Don’s Folly

Don’s Folly, winner of the five-furlong Debut for Ontario-sired 3-year-olds and upward here on opening day, hasn’t seen action since running third in the restricted New Providence on May 22 but has been working well recently.

The $125,000 Shepperton, a 6 1/2-furlong race here Aug. 10, is the next restricted sprint stakes for his division.

◗ With a holiday card scheduled for Monday, Aug. 1, there will be no racing here next Thursday, July 28. The Royal North, a six-furlong turf race for fillies and mares that will offer Grade 3 status and purse of $150,000, will be the feature on the Monday card, which begins at 1 p.m.