06/28/2013 1:52PM

Woodbine: Original Script and Strut the Course avoid big fillies in Bison City


ETOBICOKE, Ontario—Things have not gone smoothly of late for either Original Script or Strut the Course, but the connections of the two hope they are at their best in Sunday’s $250,000 Bison City Stakes at Woodbine.

Original Script will likely be favored in the 1 1/16-mile Bison City, which is the middle race of the Canadian Triple Tiara, a lucrative series for Canadian-bred 3-year-old fillies. She had finished third after leading most of the way in the opening leg, the Woodbine Oaks. This time, she won’t have to deal with the top two Oaks finishers, Nipissing and Spring in the Air, who both are scheduled to run against the boys in the July 7 Queen’s Plate.

Original Script was beaten 40 1/4 lengths in her season opener in the March 30, Grade 2 Gulfstream Oaks, but she wired older allowance opposition in her next start here May 18.

Trainer Paul Attard feels that a better effort from Original Script at Gulfstream would have had her tighter for the Woodbine Oaks.

“Really, she went into the Oaks off of one race,” Attard said.

Attard indicated Original Script missed nine days of training after the June 9 Oaks because she was in quarantine due to an outbreak of the equine herpes virus in his barn. He was content with her only interim work, a half-mile breeze in a bullet 48.20 on the training track last Tuesday.

“We feel she’s in good order,” Attard said. “The way she worked, it was like she never missed a day of training. She galloped out real well. She came out of it in good shape.”

Strut the Course nearly upset Nipissing in the Oct. 28 Princess Elizabeth Stakes, in which she blew a clear lead in deep stretch and finished second. Following a six-month break, she romped in a seven-furlong allowance race on May 5 for Ontario-sired fillies and mares, but then came up empty as the favorite in the seven-furlong Lady Angela Stakes against three-year-old fillies.

Trainer Barbara Minshall said Strut the Course had a valid excuse in the Lady Angela.

“She did bleed in that race,” Minshall said. “She got turned out for 10 days, and was taking it a little easy. They don’t lose a lot of fitness in that time, but she did lose a little bit of training.”

Minshall said she believes that Strut the Course is quite capable of racing well going two turns.

“If she just settles, she’ll go all day,” Minshall explained. “She’s a beautiful mover. It’s definitely within her grasp. She’s a really high-strung horse, so it’s a matter of trying to keep her calm.”

The Malcolm Pierce-trained Smartyfly is another filly with credentials to be a contender. She was second to Spring in the Air two starts ago in the seven-furlong Fury Stakes, but was a flat fourth most recently in the nine-furlong Oaks.