05/22/2013 12:58PM

Woodbine notes: Coffee Clique pointed for Ontario Damsel

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Michael Burns
Coffee Clique, a Kentucky-bred, will be pointed for the $150,000 Ontario Damsel on July 14.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Coffee Clique was back on Polytrack last Sunday at Woodbine and ran her local record to 2 for 2 with a four-length victory in the Grade 3, $156,300 Selene Stakes.

Luis Contreras notched his second stakes win of the meeting. He had guided Coffee Clique to victory here in her debut last December and was in the irons when the filly breezed five furlongs in 1:00.20 last Wednesday.

Brian Lynch trains the homebred Coffee Clique for John and Jerry Amerman, and watched her rally from more than 12 lengths off runaway leader Leigh Court before taking charge in early stretch.

“I thought she won it with a bit of authority,” he said. “You’re always a bit scared when one horse gets loose like that, but once Luis asked her she dug in and leveled off nicely. She did it very impressively, and I was impressed with her gallop-out.”

Coffee Clique, a Kentucky-bred, will be pointed for the $150,000 Ontario Damsel, an open one-mile turf race for 3-year-old fillies here July 14.

“If she took another step forward, we might be a little more creative with her after that,” said Lynch.

Nipissing looking solid

Nipissing underlined her position as a major contender for the June 9 1 1/8-mile Woodbine Oaks with her second-place finish in the Selene.

After appearing to spin her wheels a bit on the turn under regular rider Steven Bahen, Nipissing regrouped to finish strongly for the place and gallop out well.

Nipissing, a homebred, races for Chiefswood Stable and is trained by Rachel Halden.

“She ran a solid race, and she seems to have come out of it fine,” said Halden. “Brian’s filly had a few starts under her belt, and we were giving her seven pounds.”

Nipissing was making just her second appearance of the season after finishing sixth in Keeneland’s Grade 1 Ashland on April 6.

Original Script seems Oaks material

Original Script, a homebred who races for Chiefswood and is trained by Paul Attard, joined the Woodbine Oaks picture here last Saturday with a front-running victory in the 1 1/16-mile allowance prep for the Trillium Stakes.

After winning her first two starts, which came at 1 1/16 miles here last fall, Original Script finished second in the Ontario Lassie at 1 1/16 miles.

But in her 2013 debut, the Grade 2 Gulfstream Oaks at 1 1/8 miles, Original Script was last of six in a race where Dreaming of Julia romped by 21 3/4 lengths.

“It was good to see her come back off that race in Florida,” said Attard. “We’d thought about the Selene, but Chiefswood already had Nipissing, and didn’t want to run them against each other.

“Ideally, we wouldn’t have wanted to go in the prep against older fillies and mares, but it didn’t come up too tough, so we took a shot.”

Tiz Ro still promising

Tiz Ro, trained by Lynch, also is a possibility for the $500,000 Woodbine Oaks for Canadian-bred 3-year-old fillies.

Trained last year by the late Greg De Gannes, Tiz Ro was an impressive winner at 6 1/2 furlongs in her debut but then finished eighth in the Grade 3 Natalma Stakes here over one mile on turf before rounding out her campaign with a fourth-place finish in the 1 1/16-mile Princess Elizabeth, won by Nipissing.

In her two starts for Lynch, Tiz Ro finished a closing fifth in a first-level allowance over 1 1/16 miles on turf at Keeneland and then was a rather flat fifth here in the seven-furlong Fury Stakes.

“There was no sort of pace in the Fury,” said Lynch. “It was a weirdly run race, and she was down on the inside.

Paso Doble still kicking

Patrick Husbands had been scheduled to ride Paso Doble in Monday’s $125,000 New Providence but broke his tibia and other bones in his right leg in a spill three races earlier. Husbands underwent surgery for those injuries at Etobicoke Hospital on Monday night and will be out for three to four months.

In the meantime, Eurico Rosa da Silva picked up the mount on Paso Doble and guided the 7-year-old gelding to a 1 1/4-length victory.

“That’s gratifying,” said Mark Casse, who took over as Paso Doble’s trainer following his 2010 campaign. “It’s nice seeing the older horses around and be able to run the way he ran.”

Paso Doble, bred in Kentucky but Ontario-sired, had won the 2011 running of the restricted New Providence and finished second in the six-furlong stakes last year for owners Centennial Farms (Niagara) Inc.

The next stakes sprint stakes for older Ontario-sired males will be the 6 1/2-furlong Shepperton on Aug. 5, and Casse is unsure of his next move with Paso Doble.

“He’s had his distance limitations, and the problem is he has no conditions,” said Casse. “There’s just not a whole lot of opportunities to run him.”

Thinking about Queen's  Plate for Kaigun

Kaigun, an impressive maiden winner for Casse at 1 1/16 miles here last Saturday, is under consideration for the $1 million Queen’s Plate, the 1 1/4-mile race for Canadian-bred 3-year-olds which will be run this year on July 7.

“We always had high hopes for him, but he’s had a few little setbacks,” said Casse, who also owns Kaigun in partnership with his wife, Tina, Harvey Swartz, and Gary Barber. “We’ll see how he comes along.”

Kaigun had finished a troubled fifth in his debut at Keeneland and was scheduled to make his second appearance here on May 11. The colt got loose in the post parade and was scratched but made his own way to the barn without further incident.

Bear’s Gem may try Victoriana

Bear’s Gem recorded her fifth straight win while making her stakes and seasonal debut here in last Sunday’s $126,200, six-furlong Ballade for Ontario-sired fillies and mares.

Husbands was notching his third stakes win of the meeting aboard Bear’s Gem, who is owned by Danny Dion’s Bear Stable and trained by Reade Baker.

Bear’s Gem remains eligible for an open third-level allowance, but Baker would prefer to keep the 4-year-old in Ontario-sired company.

Her next such opportunity would be the $125,000 Victoriana, a 1 1/16-mile turf stakes for fillies and mares on July 31.

Bear’s Gem has made one previous start on turf, finishing third in a one-mile race here Sept. 23 before a change to longer blinkers precipitated her winning streak at races ranging from six to seven furlongs.

“As easy as she settles, I can’t see a distance being a problem,” said Baker.

** Heathcote, a Chiefswood homebred trained by Paul Attard, has been entered in the Grade 3, $200,000 Louisville Handicap over 1 1/2 miles on turf at Churchill Downs on Saturday.

Emma-Jayne Wilson retains the mount on the 5-year-old gelding Heathcote, who was a 14-length winner of the 1 3/4-mile Valedictory Stakes in his last start here Dec. 16.

** Kissable, trained by Roger Attfield, was scheduled to ship to Belmont for Saturday’s Grade 2, $200,000 Sheepshead Bay but did not make the trip.

“She tied up yesterday,” said Attfield, who trains Kissable for Three Chimneys Racing, on Wednesday morning. “She’s never done that before. I couldn’t send her after that.”