06/02/2011 2:32PM

Woodbine: Oregon Lady brings streak into stakes


ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Oregon Lady takes a three-race win streak into her stakes debut Saturday at Woodbine in the $300,000 Nassau. She is one three Roger Attfield-trained runners in the Grade 2 turf route, along with champion Miss Keller and Mekong Melody.

Oregon Lady was just a promising maiden last spring, but she has turned the corner this year at age 4.

“She always looked like a real star, but I could never get her on any sort of program,” Attfield recalled. “She was a very backward, long, late-maturing filly. She’s doing really, really well now.”

Oregon Lady graduated in a one-mile maiden special here last August. Following a fall and winter layoff, she won a first-level allowance at Keeneland and a second-level allowance at Churchill.

Attfield thought enough of Oregon Lady to nominate her to the Grade 3 Gallorette Handicap on Preakness Day at Pimlico, a race he ended up winning with No Explaining.

“I was going to take her to the Gallorette, but I didn’t want to take two of them there for the same owner,” Attfield said.

Miss Keller was the champion older female on turf and the runner-up in the Sovereign Award voting for Horse of the year in 2010. She ran second in last year’s Nassau, and went on to land the Grade 2 Canadian before ending up second in the Grade 1 E.P. Taylor. She was a dull sixth behind Never Retreat in her lone appearance this year, the Grade 2 Jenny Wiley at Keeneland.

Mekong Melody has been at her best when she goes farther than the one-mile distance of the Nassau.

Mekong Melody had a highly productive 2010, during which she won 3 of 5 starts, which were all in stakes. She captured the Grade 2 Dance Smartly in July, and took the Flaming Page for the second year in a row in September.

Mekong Melody defeated next-out stakes winner Daveron when she won her last outing over a mile and a half, in the Grade 3 Long Island Handicap at Aqueduct on Nov. 13.

Never Retreat, who was supplemented at a cost of $6,000, performed well at Gulfstream before her triumph over yielding ground in the Jenny Wiley. Most recently, she was only sixth as the lukewarm favorite in the Grade 2 Churchill Distaff Turf Mile.

Forest Uproar was a troubled fourth in the Jenny Wiley, which followed a successful winter stint at the Fair Grounds.

Bay to Bay nosed out Hibaayeb for second in an April 2 optional claimer at Gulfstream. Hibaayeb subsequently won the Grade 2 Sheepshead Bay at Belmont.