04/19/2012 12:33PM

Woodbine: Roxy Gap has fitness edge in Whimsical

Email
Michael Burns
Roxy Gap enters the Whimsical with a prep race under her belt.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Mark Casse was tops in races won, money won and stakes won here last year en route to his Sovereign Award as Canada’s outstanding trainer. On Sunday, Casse will be looking to return to the infield winner’s circle here, with Roxy Gap ready to roll in the six-furlong Whimsical.

The Whimsical, which offers Grade 3 status and a purse of $150,000, attracted a field of 10 headed by Atlantic Hurricane, who was Canada’s champion sprinting female of 2011 and will be making her first start since Nov. 20.

Roxy Gap ended an eight-month layoff with a third-place finish over five furlongs of turf under second-level allowance terms at Gulfstream on March 14. She has that edge in recency to her credit and has done her best work sprinting here on the Polytrack.

“She’s been doing wonderful,” said Casse, who trains the homebred 4-year-old for Eugene Melnyk. “I think she looks better than she ever has, and she’s trained better. In her race at Gulfstream she got knocked around pretty good down the backstretch. She ran really well.”

Roxy Gap has won a stakes in each of her campaigns, winning the Shady Well as a 2-year-old and the Fury last year. Both races were restricted to Ontario-foals.

Rock the Moon, who was entered when a second-level allowance race failed to fill, also will represent the Casse stable in the Whimsical.