10/19/2012 1:44PM

Woodbine notes: Reconnect tries to honor sire in Bunty Lawless

Michael Burns
Reconnect, here finishing second to Moonlit Beauty in the Victoriana, represents the recently deceased sire Niigon in the Bunty Lawless.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Trainer Ashlee Brnjas will be hoping to win one for Niigon when she sends out Reconnect, a daughter of that late stallion, for Sunday’s Bunty Lawless Stakes.

Niigon, who died suddenly last Sunday at age 11, was owned by Chiefswood Stable but was standing at the Colebrook Farm of Ashlee’s father, owner and breeder John Brnjas, and was the sire of many of the outfit’s runners.

“We found him in distress in his stall on Sunday morning,” said Ashlee Brnjas. “He went to the veterinary clinic in Guelph, and they found out that he’d broken his femur. There wasn’t anything they could do to save him. And the worst part about it was that while Tsuper was running, he was being put down. It was a bittersweet win, that’s for sure.”

Tsuper, a homebred daughter of Niigon, had knocked out her first restricted allowance condition for Brnjas here in Sunday’s third race.

And now Reconnect will be looking to carry the torch when she takes on males in the $125,000 Bunty Lawless, a one-mile turf race for Ontario-sired 3-year-olds and upward.

Reconnect, a homebred 4-year-old, won the La Prevoyante for Ontario-sired 3-year-old fillies over one mile of soft turf here last September. This August, she finished a fast-closing second in the Victoriana, a restricted 1 1/16-mile turf stakes for fillies and mares.

But in her last appearance, Reconnect stalked the lone speed of ultimate winner Moonlit Beauty and faltered to finish third in the restricted Classy ‘n Smart, a 1 1/16-mile race for fillies and mares on the main track.

“She likes the grass better,” said Brnjas. “I could wait for a nonwinners-of-three other than maiden or claiming against older fillies, but that might not go. She’s in good order, and it doesn’t intimidate me to run her against the boys. It’s not like she’s a slight filly who’s going to get pressured on the backstretch. She’s a tough filly. She’s going to drop back and come running.”

Jermaine Bridgmohan, who recorded his first Woodbine stakes win with Surtseyin in last Saturday’s Fanfreluche, will ride Reconnect, who is Niigon’s leading money-winner with a bankroll of $257,523.

Seen It All Before on shelf

Seen It All Before, a Niigon gelding, became a stakes winner for Brnjas when he captured the Vice Regent here Sept. 2 and was headed for the Bunty Lawless. But Seen It All Before was sent home for the season last week after a problem was detected.

“It’s a tiny tear in a suspensory,” said Brnjas. “It was very, very lucky we caught it when we did. We’ll probably do a stem-cell treatment and put him on the shelf until next April. “

Seen It All Before made just four starts this season and has earned $142,700 to bring his career total to $193,714 from eight appearances.

Cabo Queen preps for Princess Elizabeth

Cabo Queen worked five furlongs in 1:00.80 under new rider Emma-Jayne Wilson here Friday morning in preparation for next Sunday’s $250,000 Princess Elizabeth, a 1 1/16-mile race for Canadian-bred 2-year-old fillies.

“She worked really good,” said Stu Simon, who trains Cabo Queen for Cam Allard, Dave McDougall, and Jim Moroz. “She worked in company and galloped out a strong three-quarters.”

Cabo Queen, a British Columbia-bred daughter of More Than Ready and First Quarter, finished fourth in her first two starts when sprinting five and then six furlongs on the Polytrack, and then was 10th in a seven-furlong turf race.

“She came out sick, with mucus and everything – that’s why she ran so badly,” said Simon. “It was a real throw-out race.”

Back on Polytrack for her most recent start on Sept. 29, Cabo Queen rallied smartly to score by a half-length at seven furlongs.

“I don’t think the 1 1/16 miles will be any problem, the way she ran seven furlongs,” Simon said. “Her mother loved to run long.”

First Quarter won five races, all here on the turf, including the 1 1/8-mile Carotene Stakes for Ontario-bred 3-year-old fillies.

◗ Next week’s other scheduled features are Saturday’s River Memories and Sunday’s Labeeb, which both are $100,000 overnight stakes scheduled for one mile of turf, and the $100,000 Mt. Sassafras, a seven-furlong stakes for 3-year-olds and upward slated for Saturday.