09/26/2013 1:32PM

Woodbine: Strut the Course will miss Classy 'n Smart with stress fracture

Michael Burns
Strut the Course (left) will be given the rest of the season off to recovere from a stress fracture in a tibia.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Strut the Course, who would have been one of the leading contenders for Sunday’s Classy ‘n Smart Stakes here at Woodbine, has a stress fracture in a tibia and will not see action again this season.

“She’d breezed really well last Saturday, and seemed completely fine Sunday,” said Barbara Minshall, who trains the homebred 3-year-old filly Strut the Course for John Unger. “But she seemed a little off, after I jogged her Monday. She’s such a sound horse. I knew right away there was something wrong.”

Strut the Course saw action four times as a 2-year-old, finishing third in the six-furlong Victorian Queen and second, beaten a half-length, in the 1 1/16-mile Princess Elizabeth for Canadian-breds.

This year, Strut the Course finished third in the 1 1/16-mile Bison City for Canadian-bred 3-year-old fillies and then romped at the same distance in the Eternal Search for Ontario-sired fillies.

Last time out, Strut the Course made her debut on turf and was beaten a head as the runner-up to Professors Ride in the one-mile La Prevoyante over yielding going.

“I didn’t think she was handling the turf that good,” said Minshall. “It was definitely soft. That made it more of a challenge.

“I think she’ll handle it down the road.”

Minshall said Strut the Course will be winding down here before heading to the farm and she plans to send the filly back to South Carolina next winter to prepare for a 4-year-old campaign.

The $125,000 Classy ‘n Smart, a 1 1/16-mile Polytrack race for Ontario-sired fillies and mares, attracted a field of 11, headed by Reconnect, a 5-year-old who won the open Belle Mahone Stakes at 1 1/16 miles here Aug. 25.

Moonlit Beauty, the defending champion, also is in the Classy ‘n Smart lineup along with Bear’s Gem, winner of the six-furlong Ballade here this past spring; It’s Gail, who became a stakes winner in last year’s Eternal Search; Hurricane Lorraine; I’m A Kittyhawk; Lynessa; Queenstown; Rock’s Sweet Thing; Silent Star; and Wating in the Wings.

Both I’m A Kittyhawk and Silent Star were supplemented to the Classy ‘n Smart at a cost of $2,500.

Seeking a Glitter comes back quickly

Trainer John Cardella ended a stakes drought here on Sept. 1 when he sent out San Nicola Thunder to upset fellow Ontario-sired 3-year-olds in the Vice Regent over one mile of turf.

On Saturday, Cardella will be looking to spring another surprise when he saddles Seeking a Glitter for the $125,000 Victorian Queen.

Seeking a Glitter debuted with a second-place finish at 5 1/2 furlongs and then won at six furlongs in her next appearance with both starts coming in Ontario-sired company.

After faltering in the Muskoka, a 6 1/2-furlong stakes for products of the local yearling sales, Seeking a Glitter rebounded to lead throughout in a restricted first-level allowance at five furlongs here Sept. 20 with her regular rider Steven Bahen in the irons.

“I thought it was a pretty good race,” said Cardella. “She ran pretty quick. Her last eighth was in 12 and change.

“Steven said that when she made the lead, she just kept on going. I watched her gallop out, and she galloped out good.”

Cardella admitted to some concern about bringing back Seeking a Glitter on such short rest but notes that the filly came out of the race well and the circumstances are right.

“It’s a small field, and if she brings home a check it will be like winning a race,” said Cardella.

Vassilieva suspended 60 days

Trainer Katerina Vassilieva will be serving a suspension of 60 calendar days, beginning Friday through Nov. 25, following a hearing regarding a positive test with Days Ride.

Days Ride had finished second, beaten a nose by Woody G, in the first race here June 22 but tested positive for the Class 3 medication acepromazine.

Vassilieva stated at a Sept. 18 stewards hearing that she had treated Days Ride with acepromazine “when he trains, to help calm him and make him manageable,” but that the horse was always removed from the medication 72 hours before a race, outside the guidelines for withdrawal.

There is no published threshold level for Acepromazine.

Vassilieva had sought a stay of the suspension but the Ontario Racing Commission denied her request at a hearing on Tuesday.

The purse has been redistributed with Days Ride declared unplaced for all purposes with the exception of pari-mutuel wagering.

Vassilieva also was fined $1,500 and placed on probation for two years.

River Seven seeks elusive second win

River Seven, the richest nonwinners-of-two on the grounds, has been entered in a first-level allowance race at 1 1/8 miles on the turf here Sunday.

“He’s doing really well,” said Martha Gonzalez, wife and assistant to River Seven’s trainer, Nick Gonzalez.

“It’s time for him to win a race. He’s had five weeks off. It’s perfect.”

River Seven has banked $414,820 but his only win came in last year’s Grade 3 Grey Stakes at 1 1/16 miles.

Owned by the Tucci Stable of Carlo and Lou Tucci, River Seven competed in all three legs of this year’s Canadian Triple Crown, finishing a well-beaten 10th here in the 1 1/4-mile Queen’s Plate but rebounding to finish second in both the Prince of Wales over 1 3/16 miles of dirt at Fort Erie and the Breeders’ here over 1 1/2 miles of turf.

Saturday’s race will be no stroll in the park for River Seven, however, as his opposition will include fellow 3-year-old Golden Sabre, who won the Charlie Barley Stakes here at one mile on the turf but was disqualified and placed fourth.

◗ Jockey Emma-Jayne Wilson will be competing in an exhibition race for trotters under saddle at Mohawk Raceway on Saturday.The Racing Under Saddle Ontario series will take place after Saturday night’s second race, which goes to post at 7:45 p.m.