09/19/2013 3:18PM

Woodbine notes: Short field for Deputy Jane West Stakes

Michael Burns
Paso Doble, who won the New Providence Stakes in May, is out for the year with an unspecified injury.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario – The $100,000 Deputy Jane West, a new six-furlong overnight stakes for 2-year-old fillies, failed to create a rush to the entry box as just five entrants heeded the call. But the Deputy Jane West still is a contentious event, and recent maiden winner Dulcify could be a mild upsetter Saturday.

Dulcify, a Kentucky-bred owned by Wendy O’Leary and trained by Norm McKnight, was making her fourth career start when she won a five-furlong maiden race here Aug. 4.

“She’d been down in South Carolina all winter, and she never really missed a beat down there,” McKnight said. “But she was kind of a little bit slow to come forward.”

Dulcify had shown speed in each of her first three outings, with her results improving each time, from fifth to third to second, prior to her breakthrough performance.

“I was really happy with the way she settled off the pace last time and made her run,” McKnight said. “She’s doing really well.”

Dulcify drew favorably in post 3, with Eurico Rosa Da Silva, who has held a hot hand in stakes here recently, retaining the mount.

Lapsang, a 17-1 winner when debuting against some highly regarded prospects in a six-furlong maiden race here Aug. 31, also should make her presence felt in her stakes debut.

“She’s just been a pleasant surprise,” said Suzanne Drake, who trains the Ontario-bred filly and owns her in partnership with breeders Janice and Joseph Pollard and Philip Yu. “I really thought this was a good spot for her, three weeks out.”

Omar Moreno returns aboard Lapsang, who will begin from post 2.

Ria Antonia and Questary are the only fillies in the field with stakes experience. Trainer Ricky Griffith sent out Ria Antonia to finish fourth as the only filly in the field of seven for the seven-furlong Swynford Stakes here Aug. 24. That was the third start for the Kentucky-bred, who had trounced males when graduating over six furlongs here July 21.

Chris Griffith, the trainer’s brother, retains the mount as Ria Antonia starts from post 1.

Questera, claimed for $40,000 from a winning debut at five furlongs, finished fourth when making her first start for trainer Sid Attard in the six-furlong Ontario Debutante on Aug. 10. The West Virginia-bred, who was beaten 7 3/4 lengths in the Ontario Debutante after a less-than-ideal start, will be ridden by Justin Stein.

Enoree, who made a middle move but tired to finish last of 12 when debuting over seven furlongs on turf here Aug. 23, rounds out the field.

The Deputy Jane West is named in honor of the speedy filly who campaigned from 1992-94 and was a divisional champion here for Mac Benson at ages 2 and 3.

Urban Forester seeks four in row

The McKnight stable also will be represented in Sunday’s $125,000 Overskate Stakes with Urban Forester, seeking his fourth straight win in the seven-furlong stakes for Ontario-sired 3-year-olds and up.

Urban Forester, a 5-year-old gelding, was claimed for $20,000 here June 14 and promptly landed his first open allowance condition over seven furlongs on turf at Fort Erie for new owner Bruno Schickedanz.

In his next two starts, which came in 1 1/16-mile conditioned claiming races at the $20,000 and $40,000 levels, Urban Forester extended his winning streak while boosting his earnings for his new barn to $47,640.

“I thought he raced well the day we claimed him,” said McKnight, who had dropped in the claim slip and then watched Urban Forester finish fourth in a conditioned claiming race at 1 1/16 miles. “He could have had a better result; he was in a bit of trouble.”

McKnight acknowledged that Urban Forester’s task will be considerably tougher in the Overskate.

“His last race, I thought he won kind of comfortably,” McKnight said. “I know he’s meeting tougher horses here, and I’d prefer the race to be longer. But this is all there is for him right now, and he’s doing really well.”

Patrick Husbands will ride Urban Forester in an eight-horse field that includes Courtville, Fifty Proof, Pender Harbour, Phil’s Dream, Seeley’s Bay, Spirit Warnings, and Ultimate Destiny.

Paso Doble injured, out until 2014

Paso Doble, the leading Ontario-sired older sprinter at the meeting, with stakes victories in the six-furlong New Providence and the 6 1/2-furlong Shepperton, will not see action again this season.

“The injury that stopped him last year has reared its ugly head again,” said Mark Casse, who trains Paso Doble for Centennial Farms (Niagara) Inc. “We’re going to give him the rest of the year off.”

Paso Doble, a Kentucky-bred, 7-year-old gelding who moved into Casse’s barn in 2011, also won the New Providence and Shepperton and finished second in the Overskate that season. Last year, however, Paso Doble’s campaign was cut short after three starts by the unspecified injury.

During that brief campaign, Paso Doble finished third here in the Jacques Cartier Stakes at six furlongs and the Grade 3 Vigil at seven furlongs and was second in the New Providence.

Clearly Now, Black Hornet ship out

Clearly Now and Black Hornet shipped out on the same van here Thursday for Philadelphia and will continue their new acquaintanceship in Saturday’s Gallant Bob Stakes at Parx Racing. The Gallant Bob, a six-furlong race for 3-year-olds, offers Grade 3 status and a purse of $300,000.

Clearly Now, a Kentucky-bred trained by Brian Lynch, already has proven himself while running with the top 3-year-olds at seven furlongs south of the border, winning Gulfstream’s Swale before finishing second in Aqueduct’s Bay Shore and third in Belmont’s Woody Stephens. Luis Contreras was in the irons here Thursday, when Clearly Now blew out three furlongs in 36.80 seconds on the training track.

“I wanted to sharpen him up a little bit,” Lynch said. “He’s in really good order going into this race.”

Black Hornet, the top Canadian-bred 3-year-old sprinter on the grounds, won the seven-furlong Queenston and the six-furlong Achievement Stakes before finishing second behind Bear No Joke in the six-furlong Kenora for trainer Pat Parente.