07/05/2013 1:26PM

Woodbine: Solid Appeal, Irish Mission head tough Dance Smartly

Michael Burns
Solid Appeal became a stakes winner in the Grade 2 Nassau at a mile on turf.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Solid Appeal and Irish Mission, the 1-2 finishers in the May 25 Nassau Stakes, will renew their rivalry Sunday in the Grade 2, $200,000 Dance Smartly.

But Moment of Majesty, Hard Not to Like, and Distorted Legacy all are shipping to their former hunting grounds for the Dance Smartly, along with invader Julie’s Love, and contention runs deep in the 1 1/8-mile turf race for fillies and mares that attracted a field of 11.

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Solid Appeal, owned by Jim and Susan Hill and trained by Reade Baker, became a stakes winner in the Grade 2 Nassau at one mile on the turf, with the favored Irish Mission 1 1/2 lengths back in second place.

Coming off a second-level allowance win over 1 1/16 miles on Polytrack at Keeneland, Solid Appeal finished strongly under Jesse Campbell.

“She’s training great; everything’s positive,” said Baker, who sent Solid Appeal to Curraghmore Farm for a two-week break following the Nassau. “She’s come back and breezed a couple of good five-eighths.”

Baker is unconcerned about the longer distance of the Dance Smartly, which will be the farthest Solid Appeal has traveled to date.

“They weren’t going to beat her the other day no matter how far they were going,” Baker said.

Campbell returns aboard Solid Appeal, who is the 122-pound highweight.

Irish Mission, who took home Sovereign Awards as Canada’s champion turf female and 3-year-old filly of 2012, was shortening up from 1 1/2 miles and making her first start in eight weeks in the Nassau.

“Her last race obviously was too short for her,” said Mark Frostad, who trains Irish Mission for Robert S. Evans. “A mile and an eighth will suit her much better.”

Alex Solis retains the mount on Irish Mission, who gets in with 118 pounds.

Moment of Majesty, second to the redoubtable Marketing Mix in last year’s Dance Smartly for trainer Sue Leslie, was sold privately following that 5-year-old campaign and is now based in Kentucky with trainer Andrew McKeever.

Joel Rosario retains the mount on Moment of Majesty, who finished third competing under third-level allowance terms May 3 at Churchill Downs in her only start for her new barn.

Hard Not to Like, a 4-year-old who defeated males here in the Cup and Saucer Stakes on the turf at 2 and finished second in the following spring’s Grade 1 Ashland for trainer Gail Cox at Keeneland, was transferred to trainer Michael Matz at Fair Hill that summer.

After winning her first start for her new barn in the Grade 3 Suwanee River over 1 1/16 miles on turf at Gulfstream, Hard Not to Like was off the board in turf stakes there and at Keeneland before rebounding with a second-place finish in the Grade 3 Gallorette over 1 1/16 miles on the Pimlico turf in her last start May 18.

John Velazquez will be back aboard Hard Not to Like.

Distorted Legacy began her career here with trainer Barbara Minshall in 2010 and returns to her barn with a Grade 1 stakes placing in the 2011 Flower Bowl and a close fourth-place finish in that year’s Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf on her r é sum é .

Jermaine Bridgmohan gets the call.

Julie’s Love, trained by Graham Motion and to be ridden by Alan Garcia, has won a pair of listed stakes on turf and just missed in last fall’s Grade 3 Cardinal over 1 1/8 miles at Churchill Downs.

Completing the field will be Coffee Clique, Moonlit Beauty, No Explaining, Northern Passion, and Peche Mobilee.