10/21/2011 1:16PM

Woodbine: Nikkis Bold Gelato maturing well


ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Nikkis Bold Gelato has overcome a sour beginning to show plenty of promise for trainer Bob Tiller.

On Sunday, Tiller will be looking for Nikkis Bold Gelato to put the ice cream on the cake in the $125,000 Fanfreluche, a six-furlong race for Ontario-foaled 2-year-old fillies.

“She’s a good, tough filly and she’s in good order,” said Tiller. “She got over her first start.”

Nikkis Bold Gelato debuted here July 30, breaking from the 1 post in a field of 10.

But her afternoon was short-lived as Nikkis Bold Gelato ducked in at the start, catapulting Luis Contreras toward the rail and into starter Ian Ross, who was bowled over by the jockey.

Two mornings later, Nikkis Bold Gelato was working out from the starting gate.

“We worked her five furlongs three times, out of the gate,” said Tiller. “We worked her in between horses, with special blinkers.

“Then I entered her, and she drew the one hole again.”

The morning after entries were taken for that Aug. 27 maiden race at five furlongs, Tiller sent out Nikkis Bold Gelato for a two-furlong blowout from the gate.

And this time, with Ross in the starter’s stand rather than his customary on-track position, Nikkis Bold Gelato broke cleanly into the lead and never looked back en route to a three-quarter-length victory under Contreras.

“We had to send her there, going five-eighths again, from the one hole,” said Tiller. “I was scared to death, even with the blinkers.”

Nikkis Bold Gelato was able to take a more relaxed approach to her subsequent start, which came in the six-furlong Victorian Queen.

Beginning from post 4 there under jockey Emma-Jayne Wilson, Nikkis Bold Gelato bobbled slightly at the start and raced well to finish second to six-length winner Kitty’s Got Class, who also is back for the Fanfreluche.

“She relaxed nicely, and got second money,” said Tiller. “We’re hoping she gets a good piece of the purse again.”

Nikkis Bold Gelato will have another new rider in Justin Stein, as Wilson has picked up the mount on Kitty’s Got Class from Eurico Rosa Da Silva, who sustained a season-ending injury during last Saturday’s Cup and Saucer Stakes.

Casa Loma pointed for Princess Elizabeth

Tiller also had nominated Casa Loma to the Fanfreluche but is pointing her for next Saturday’s $250,000 Princess Elizabeth, a 1 1/16-mile race for Canadian-bred 2-year-old fillies.

Owned by Rolph Davis, Casa Loma had finished a distant ninth in her 5 1/2-furlong debut on Aug. 6 but then registered back-to-back wins over seven furlongs.

“I was totally mystified by her first race,” said Tiller. “Her works had indicated to me that she was one of the better fillies in the barn.

“I thought the race might be a little short for her, but I expected her to be closing ground.”

Racing with blinkers and with Steven Bahen aboard for the first time in her second start here Aug. 6, Casa Loma was prominent throughout and was a half-length winner at 76-1 over the odds-on Delightful Magic.

Casa Loma was no longer a mystery when she returned on Sept. 29, however, as she prevailed by 2 1/2 lengths under Bahen as the 1-2 choice in a first-level allowance.

“I think she’ll be better than her last race; she took a bit of a Beyer dip there,” said Tiller, noting that Casa Loma’s Beyer Speed Figure had dropped to 64 after she was awarded a 72 for her maiden win.

“I think she’s a talented filly, and I think she’ll be heard from. I see no reason not to try her going long.”

Anne’s Beauty done for the year

Anne’s Beauty, one of the top 3-year-old fillies on the grounds, will not see action again this season.

“She came back from her last race a little bit stiff, a little tight,” said Paul Attard, who had sent out Anne’s Beauty to finish second in the Grade 3 Selene over 1 1/16 miles on Polytrack here Sept. 25.

“We’d been thinking of taking her to Keeneland, for the Raven Run, but you have to be 110 percent to go to Keeneland. She’s done enough for this year.”

Owned by Rob Smithen, Anne’s Beauty won the Duchess over seven furlongs on Polytrack and the Grade 3 Ontario Colleen over one mile on turf here this summer.

She also finished second in the 1 1/16-mile La Lorgnette behind Inglorious, but turned the tables when she left Inglorious – winner of the Woodbine Oaks and Queen’s Plate – a neck behind her as the third-place finisher in the Selene.

Anne’s Beauty already is in Ocala on the Oak Ridge Equine Training Center of Kenny Lejeune, who had been the catalyst in her purchase by Smithen.

“She’s getting a break, for a couple of months, and then she’ll come down to me at Palm Meadows,” said Attard.

“We’ll have a good 4-year-old for next year.”

◗ Ken Zweig has taken over as the agent for apprentice jockey Jeffrey Alderson.

Zweig also represents journeyman Gerry Olguin.