11/16/2012 12:47PM

Woodbine: Nipissing out to stay unbeaten

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Michael Burns
Nipissing stretched out to 1 1/16 miles in the Princess Elizabeth Stakes and won by a half-length.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Nipissing puts her unbeaten record on the line Sunday at Woodbine in the $125,000 South Ocean Stakes. She will be heavily favored in the 1 1/16-mile route, which lured just four other Ontario-sired 2-year-old fillies.

After graduating over Ontario-sired maidens in August, Nipissing won a seven-furlong allowance comfortably over favored Leinan, who subsequently took the open Glorious Song Stakes.

Three weeks ago, Nipissing stretched out to 1 1/16 miles in the $250,800 Princess Elizabeth Stakes. She moved up to third on the far turn, where Strut the Course swooped by her on the outside to assume command. Nipissing took dead aim at that rival in the stretch, and then closed stoutly to prevail by a half-length, earning a 77 Beyer Speed Figure.

Robert Landry rode Nipissing’s sire, Niigon, to victory in the 2004 Queen’s Plate. He is now the racing manager for Chiefswood Stable, who raced Niigon and owns Nipissing, whom he holds in high regard.

“She showed us the signs all along that she had some ability,” said Landry. “She showed a lot of guts last time. [Strut the Course] ran by her, but she jumped on the bridle, kicked in again, and ran her down. That filly was running. It’s not like she came back to her.”

Trainer Rachel Halden sent out Nipissing for a three-furlong breeze in 35.80 seconds on Wednesday.

“She’s training well, and she looks good,” said Landry. “Rachel’s happy with her. She’s a very talented filly.”

Chiefswood is also running another daughter of the recently deceased Niigon, Otonabee, who rallied for second after starting slowly in a seven-furlong maiden special Oct. 7. She is trained by Paul Attard.

Dancing Bay should be the second choice. She graduated in a six-furlong maiden special for Ontario-sired stock Aug. 10, but was then idle until she ran fourth in a 1 1/16-mile allowance Nov. 3.

“I lost a bit of time with her,” said trainer Brian Lynch. “She’s a funny filly to shoe. I scratched her out of a stake one day, because she got very sensitive after we shod her the day of the race. Since then, we’ve adjusted how we shoe her and put on glue-ons.”

Lynch said the South Ocean has been on Dancing Bay’s dance card.

“I had this race in mind the whole time,” Lynch explained. “I wouldn’t say I was giving her a race, but I gave her a conditioning race the other day. We got a beautiful race into her, to set her up for this one. I would say she’s spot on.”

Rounding out the field are Firewithdesire and Seeking Toussaud.