12/01/2011 4:00PM

Woodbine: Rose and Shine goes for Ontario Lassie score

Michael Burns
Rose and Shine, with Eurico Da Silva riding, wins the Muskoka.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario – It has been 26 years since owner James Sabiston won the 1985 Ontario Lassie Stakes under the Longview Farm banner with Grecian Touch. Sabiston has a good chance to capture the $150,000 race for Ontario-bred 2-year-old fillies again Saturday at Woodbine, with the Ralph Biamonte-trained stakes winner Rose and Shine.

Rose and Shine notched her first stakes over seven furlongs in the Sept. 5 Muskoka, for graduates of local yearling sales. After ending up fifth a month later in the open Mazarine Stakes, she won the restricted Princess Elizabeth Stakes going 1 1/16 miles.

[MORE: Full coverage of the Saturday card from Woodbine]

Rose and Shine has a hefty $322,320 bankroll, but the highest Beyer Speed Figure that she earned in her six races is just a 71.

“She just seems to get lucky and only runs as fast as she has to – maybe she hypnotizes the others into running a little slower,” Biamonte joked.

Biamonte has lots of admiration for Rose and Shine, who is from the first crop of new Ontario sire Mr. Sekiguchi.

“She’s the perfect horse to have around,” said Biamonte. “You don’t even know she’s there. She’s such an easy keeper. You just don’t have problems with her. She’s sound. She behaves, and she wastes no energy. She uses it for when she has to.”

Blue Heart could be favored in the 1 1/16-mile Ontario Lassie.

Blue Heart won her first two starts, including the 1 1/16-mile Mazarine, in which she benefited from a fine ride by Joe Bravo, who let her do her own thing on the outside, after breaking from post 12.

Blue Heart had an inside stalking trip when she was third as the favorite in the Princess Elizabeth. Trainer Brian Lynch said rating tactics seemingly led to her downfall in that event.

“It mightn’t have been the right move to take such a big hold of her, because there wasn’t such a good pace up front anyway,” Lynch explained. “She was strong down the backside, and [Bravo] was sitting against her. She’s inexperienced, and he rode her like an older horse. He might have emptied her out a bit by the time the running started.”

Lynch is hopeful that Blue Heart is a prospect for next year’s Woodbine Oaks.

“She’s potentially a nice filly down the road,” said Lynch. “If she matures a little more through the winter, you’ve got a potential Oaks candidate.”

Among the others entered are South Ocean Stakes winner Grace Phil and Dixie Strike, who ran second in both the Muskoka and Princess Elizabeth.