08/05/2011 9:13AM

Woodbine: Notacloudinthesky tops compact Nandi Stakes field


ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Sunday’s supporting feature, the $125,000 Nandi Stakes, drew a field of just five Ontario-sired 2-year-old fillies, headed by Notacloudinthesky and I Am in Front.

Notacloudinthesky, owned by the Donver Stable of Verne and Donna Dubinsky, will be seeking her second straight victory after scoring by four lengths in a restricted maiden dash at 5 1/2 furlongs.

Trained by Josie Carroll, Notacloudinthesky finished fourth in her five-furlong opener, but was just 1 1/4 lengths behind the winner.

“She found herself in the one hole by default, when the two inside horses scratched,” Carroll said. “She was green on the rail, but still didn’t get beat by much.”

Notacloudinthesky broke from the inside again in her second start and had a less than ideal beginning, but overcame those obstacles to lead virtually throughout with blinkers and Lasix added to her arsenal.

“We just put a small set of blinkers on her, to focus her a little more,” Carroll said. “She’s trained well, done everything well, since then.”

Luis Contreras retains the mount on Notacloudinthesky, who drew post 2 for the Nandi.

I Am In Front, trained by Abraham Katryan, will be making her fourth start in the Nandi, with her first two appearances having come in Ontario-sired company.

After finishing second to the rapid Hope for a Win in her 4 1/2-furlong debut June 2, I Am in Front came back four weeks later for a five-length romp at five furlongs.

Most recently, facing difficult Ontario-foaled opposition in the 5 1/2-furlong Shady Well, I Am in Front pressed the pace but weakened to finish 10 lengths behind the invading Judy the Beauty in fifth place.

“Her last race was okay, but I didn’t expect her to go for the lead that early,” Katryan said. “I didn’t think she’d have to work as hard. I expected her to sit a little longer.”

David Clark, who partnered I Am in Front for the first time in the Shady Well, will be back aboard as the filly begins from post 4.

Rounding out the short field will be Bear’s Wit and Euphrasia, both of whom are trained by Mike DePaulo, and Kardashian, who is conditioned by Barbara Minshall.

Bear’s Wit left Notacloudinthesky in her wake when both were debuting, but then finished a distant ninth in the Shady Well.

Euphrasia also scored at first asking, in a restricted race at 4 1/2 furlongs, but then ended 12th of 14 in the open My Dear at five furlongs.

Kardashian, a maiden after three starts, has finished second behind both I Am in Front and Euphrasia.