07/05/2012 1:13PM

Woodbine notes: Roxy Gap opts for Sweet Briar Too Stakes on main track

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Michael Burns
Roxy Gap will likely start in Saturday's $100,000 Sweet Briar Too rather than an allowance on Friday.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Roxy Gap had been entered in Friday’s Royal North prep, an open allowance race for fillies and mares at six furlongs on turf, along with her stablemate Barracks Road. But when Saturday’s overnight saw the light of day Wednesday, there was Roxy Gap, who was entered in the seven-furlong Sweet Briar Too on the main track and will be scratched from Friday’s feature.

The $100,000 Sweet Briar Too, an overnight stakes for fillies and mares, attracted a field of seven with Roxy Gap the horse to beat.

“Our thoughts were that Barracks Road would appreciate the turf a little bit more,” said Mark Casse, who trains both Barracks Road and Roxy Gap for owner/breeder Eugene Melnyk. “We like the seven-eighths for Roxy Gap, cutting back from a mile, a little better than going three-quarters. It was just a good mix, to keep the two fillies apart.”

Roxy Gap won back-to-back graded sprint stakes on the Polytrack here this spring, capturing the six-furlong Whimsical and 6 1/2-furlong Hendrie, and then finished second behind the formidable turf filly Marketing Mix in the Grade 2 Nassau over one mile of soft going.

Regular rider Patrick Husbands retains the mount on Roxy Gap, who will break from post 2 under top weight of 124 pounds.

Leading the opposition will be My Perfect Ten and Skylara, the 1-2 finishers when competing at seven furlongs under third-level allowance terms here June 8.

My Perfect Ten, trained by Elizabeth Charalambous, was making her first start since Nov. 17 and stalked the pace en route to a 2 1/4-length victory.

“She had a slight injury at the end of last year, and we had to lay her up for a couple of months,” said Charalambous, who trains the 4-year-old Kentucky-homebred for Rob Cudney. “She was sort of slow to come around in the spring; I had to take my time with her.”

Charalambous admitted to being somewhat surprised by My Perfect Ten’s opening effort, which yielded a career-high Beyer Speed Figure of 88.

“I thought she’d run well, but not that well,” Charalambous said. “Since that race, she’s been really confident and content.”

Skylara had been unplaced in her 2012 debut at Keeneland and was making her first start in two months when she was run down by My Perfect Ten.

“She ran a nice race, but she probably didn’t need to be on the lead that day,” said Roger Attfield, who trains the 5-year-old Skylara for Stronach Stable.

Emma-Jayne Wilson retains the mount on My Perfect Ten, who drew post 1, while Tyler Pizarro returns aboard Skylara from post 3. Both fillies will carry 120 pounds.

Rounding out the Sweet Briar Too field are Rashnaa, Miss Inclined, Man Stuff, and More Miss Crissy.

Rashnaa has started twice this year, ending fifth behind Roxy Gap in the Hendrie and then fourth behind My Perfect Ten.

Miss Inclined, a winner on the turf at Fair Grounds this winter, has been off since finishing last of 10 in the Whimsical.

Man Stuff has shown good speed in her three career starts this spring, but now will be facing older rivals for the first time.

More Miss Crissy will be making her first start for owners Ken and Sarah Ramsay and trainer Brian Lynch after being claimed for $40,000 last time out.

Kissable makes North American bow

Attfield also has a candidate for Sunday’s Dance Smartly Stakes in Kissable, an Irish-bred 4-year-old who will be making her North American bow and first start for Three Chimneys Racing LLC.

The Grade 2 Dance Smartly, a 1 1/8-mile turf race that is worth $300,000, drew a field of seven headed by Marketing Mix and Inglorious.

Kissable, who was purchased privately this spring, placed in two group stakes in Ireland as a 2-year-old, including the Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes over seven furlongs of good going. But the bottom line is that Kissable is coming into the Dance Smartly with a record of 1-2-2 and earnings of $65,997 from nine starts, with her lone appearance this season a fourth-place finish on May 12.

“She was very light in condition when she came out of quarantine,” said Attfield, who took over as Kissable’s trainer at Keeneland this spring. “She looks well now, but she’s probably a couple of works away from where I’d like to be going into this type. There just haven’t been any a-other-thans for her going long on the turf.”

Alex Solis gets the call on Kissable for the Dance Smartly.

Colleen’s Sailor works for Wales

Colleen’s Sailor, fourth in the Queen’s Plate for Attfield, breezed five furlongs on the training track here Thursday morning in 59.60 seconds in preparation for the $500,000 Prince of Wales Stakes on July 15 at Fort Erie.

“That was a good work,” said Attfield, with the emphasis on “that,” after watching Colleen’s Sailor go in company with older stablemate Perfect Afleet. “We just wanted to see how he handled the dirt.”

Colleen’s Sailor, working on dirt for the first time, evidently relished the surface as he got his first quarter in 25 seconds and half-mile in 48.

At the wire, Colleen’s Sailor was caught in a bullet 59.60, with Perfect Alfleet clocked in 59.80. The pair then galloped out six furlongs in 1:12.20 and seven furlongs in 1:25.20.

Solis was aboard Colleen’s Sailor, while Patrick Husbands did the honors aboard Perfect Afleet.

Solis will ride Irish Mission in the Prince of Wales, and Corey Nakatani will return aboard Colleen’s Sailor.

Irish Mission, winner of the 1 1/8-mile Woodbine Oaks and runner-up in the 1 1/4-mile Queen’s Plate, is expected to be favored in the Prince of Wales, a 1 3/16-mile race that is the second leg of the Triple Crown for Canadian-bred 3-year-olds.

◗ Tim Yatcak will be hosting an intriguing handicapping seminar at 11 a.m. Saturday on the third floor of the grandstand. Yatcak is a disciple of the late Howard Sartin, who has been called the father of pace handicapping and created the Sartin Methodology, which breaks down races into segments and measures a horse’s velocity in feet per second.