11/09/2012 2:44PM

Woodbine notes: Incredicat returns in tough spot against older rivals

Michael Burns
Incredicat will be facing older horses in an optional claimer on Sunday at Woodbine.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Incredicat, who has been absent since tiring badly here in the Aug. 4 Seagram Cup, will be looking to get back into the swing of things when he returns to action Sunday.

Trained by Ian Black, Incredicat will be racing older rivals while competing under the second-level allowance condition in an optional $62,500 claimer.

“It’s a tough spot,” said Black, who trains Incredicat for David Willmot, John Fielding, and the Hat Trick Stable of Doug Murphy and partners. “I’m in here because the race is here. If it had been next week, I would have been happier.”

Winner of the 1 1/16-mile Wando Stakes and second in the 1 1/8-mile Plate Trial before being taken off the Queen’s Plate trail this spring, Incredicat was facing older rivals for the first time in the 1 1/16-mile Seagram Cup and was beaten a total of 17 lengths after setting the pace through the first six furlongs.

“He bled quite severely in the Seagram,” Black said. “We did some research for healing up lungs, and found that hyperbaric chambers worked very good.”

Incredicat spent several weeks in Kentucky undergoing the hyperbaric treatments, which involve the intake of pure oxygen at higher-than-normal pressures, and started back in training there before returning to Woodbine.

Justin Stein will take over aboard Incredicat, who has proven form going short and drew favorably in post 7 in the field of eight.

His opponents include the stakes winner Bear’s Chill, who is back in for a $62,500 claiming price here, and the stakes-placed Say No More, who is running with a tag for the first time.

Seeking Toussaud eyes South Ocean

Nipissing and Strut the Course finished a half-length apart when 1-2 in the $250,000 Princess Elizabeth for Canadian-bred 2-year-old fillies here Oct. 28.

If all remains well, the two could renew their rivalry in next Sunday’s South Ocean.

The South Ocean, like the Princess Elizabeth, goes at 1 1/16 miles but is for Ontario-sired fillies and offers a purse of $125,000.

And one filly who has a license to improve enough to challenge the aforementioned pair is Seeking Toussaud, who is owned by Richard Balfour’s E L R Corp and is trained by Danny Vella.

Seeking Toussaud, a $100,000 purchase in Ocala this April after being picked up for $52,000 at the local yearling sale last December, finished an even fourth when debuting in the six-furlong Nandi for Ontario-sired 2-year-old fillies here Aug. 5.

Back in action Sept. 3 for the Muskoka, a 6 1/2-furlong stakes for products of the local sale, Seeking Toussaud ended a non-threatening eighth.

But a new and improved Seeking Toussaud was on display when she returned seven weeks later and was a front-running 1 1/2-length winner when trying two turns for the first time under regular rider Justin Stein.

“She wants to go long,” Vella said. “She was a little sharp, coming off two sprints. She’ll relax better next time. She’ll improve a lot, off that.”

Casse plans to be busy in stakes

Nahima, who was beaten a total of 7 3/4 lengths as the fifth-place finisher in the Princess Elizabeth, also is scheduled to return for the South Ocean

Owned by Gary Barber and trained by Mark Casse, Nahima was making her North American debut there after racing twice in France and recording a maiden win over 6 1/2 furlongs of Polytrack in her second outing.

Casse also is considering Bagatelle Park, a Melnyk Stable homebred, for next Saturday’s Jammed Lovely here at Woodbine.

The seven-furlong Jammed Lovely is for Ontario-bred 3-year-old fillies and is worth $150,000.

But, Casse’s main focus next Saturday will be on Delta Downs for that Louisiana racetrack’s marquee program.

Floral Sky, an Ohio-bred who won a first-level allowance over seven furlongs of turf in her local debut Oct. 12, shipped back to Casse at Churchill Downs and is penciled in for the Delta Downs Princess, a one-mile race for 2-year-old fillies that offers Grade 3 status and a purse of $500,000.

Prospective, a Kentucky-bred 3-year-old who already has won four stakes this season, is eyeing the Delta Mile, a $150,000 race for 3-year-olds and up.

The Delta Mile would be the 10th start of the season for Prospective and the eighth different racetrack over which he has competed.

Silent Moon, a Kentucky-bred 4-year-old, could appear in the $150,000 Treasure Chest, a one-mile race for fillies and mares.

In her last appearance, Silent Moon set the pace but faltered slightly to finish fourth in the River Memories, an overnight stakes for fillies and mares that was run over a mile and 70 yards on the main track after originally being scheduled for one mile of turf.

And, the Kentucky-bred Swift Artist is targeting the $70,000 Orleans, a seven-furlong overnight stakes for 3-year-old fillies who have never won a stakes race.

Swift Artist finished a close second here last time out in the 6 1/2-furlong Ruling Angel for 3-year-old fillies.

Floral Sky, Prospective, and Silent Moon all are owned by John Oxley, while Swift Artist races for the Stoneway Farm of Jim Stone.

Stars to Shine entered in January sale

Stars to Shine, a 5-year-old mare who finished last of eight here in last Saturday’s Maple Leaf Stakes, has been entered in Keeneland’s January horses of racing age sale.

Bred in Kentucky, Stars to Shine was based here with Mark Frostad throughout a career in which she has compiled a record of 6-1-3 for earnings of $431,411 from 16 starts.

Stars to Shine won three stakes, all at Woodbine on Polytrack, capturing last year’s 1 1/16-mile Belle Mahone and this year’s 1 1/8-mile Trillium and Grade 3, 1 1/8-mile Ontario Matron.

She also was stakes placed on turf, finishing third here in the last two runnings of the Grade 2 Canadian at 1 1/8 miles.

Stars to Shine is owned by The Grange House Partnership, a group that includes trainer Ed Vaughan, who is based in England.

Atlantic Hurricane nominated to Bessarabian

Nominations for the Nov. 24 Bessarabian and Nov. 25 Kennedy Road, both Grade 3 sprints stakes worth $150,000, were released Friday.

Atlantic Hurricane, winner of the Grade 3, six-furlong Ontario Fashion here last Sunday, heads a list of 17 fillies and mares for the seven-furlong Bessarabian.

Atlantic Hurricane was an impressive winner of the Bessarabian last year.

Essence Hit Man, winner of last year’s six-furlong Kennedy Road, has been off since Aug. 6, but has been working well and is one of 12 nominees for this year’s renewal.