09/20/2011 12:17PM

Woodbine: Rashnaa lands in softer spot on Polytrack


ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Rashnaa, who earned black type in two recent stakes, will get some class relief in Thursday’s third race at Woodbine, a third-level allowance with an $80,000 claiming option.

Rashnaa, a nicely bred Tapit mare trained by Bob Tiller, was a productive upper claimer in 2010, but she has taken her game to another level this year at age 5. The stretch-runner won her season opener with a $62,500 tag over seven furlongs, the distance of Thursday’s feature.

Rashnaa cleared the second allowance condition June 18 in a seven-furlong optional claimer, winning by 4 1/2 lengths with a career-high 81 Beyer Speed Figure. Two weeks later, she finished a close third in the slowly run Sweet Briar Too, a seven-furlong overnight stakes.

Most recently in the Grade 3 Seaway Stakes, Rashnaa got away slowly before lagging behind the seven-horse field on the backstretch. Atlantic Hurricane and favored Embur’s Song vied through moderate fractions before running one-two in the seven-furlong sprint, and Rashnaa rallied belatedly for third under Luis Contreras.

Bwana Babe is making her first start on synthetics after being claimed by trainer Steve Asmussen from a victory over $50,000 opposition last month at Saratoga. She will compete with an $80,000 tag.

All four of Bwana Babe’s wins this year came in front-running style, and she might have company on the lead here from Dance to the Moon, D’wild Beach, or True Religion.

Dance to the Moon got away with soft fractions when she wired first-level allowance stock traveling seven-eighths June 25. She didn’t start again until Aug. 10, when she won a 6 1/2-furlong optional claimer after setting a moderate pace.

Dance to the Moon is trained by Mike Doyle, who also entered minor stakes winner Sans Sousi. Sans Sousi never challenged last time going long on the grass in the Victoriana Stakes.

D’wild Beach nosed out Rashnaa for second after pressing the pace in the July 1 Sweet Briar Too. She never challenged in her only start since then Aug. 1, in the Royal North Stakes on the grass.

True Religion also came up empty in the Grade 3 Royal North. She made amends Sept. 3, when she led throughout an optional claimer that was taken off the grass.

Miss Lola also is exiting a victory in an optional event over seven furlongs on Polytrack, in which she had an ideal outside stalking trip.