06/06/2012 12:19PM

Woodbine: Sweet Cassiopeia, coming off stakes win, the lone speed in feature


ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Sweet Cassiopeia garnered her first black type in the Hendrie Stakes, and should be dangerous as the lone speed in Friday’s second race at Woodbine, a third-level allowance-optional claimer.

Sweet Cassiopeia put together a wonderful 2011 campaign under the guidance of trainer Barb Minshall. After three consecutive runner-up placings in the summer, she graduated in a six-furlong maiden special Sept. 24.

Sweet Cassiopeia doubled up Oct. 19 in a first-level allowance over seven furlongs, the distance of Friday’s feature. She scored by four lengths in 1:24.16, a time which earned her an 80 Beyer Speed Figure. She cleared the second allowance condition Nov. 12, after which she got the winter off. ]

Sweet Cassiopeia drew the dreaded 1 hole in her April 22 season opener in the Grade 3 Whimsical Stakes, in which she came home fifth after failing to flash her customary speed. Most recently in the Grade 2 Hendrie, she vied through moderate fractions before tiring to finish nearly six lengths behind victorious Roxy Gap in third.

Journeyman Jim McAleney will ride Sweet Cassiopeia again.

Rashnaa was a nonthreatening fifth in the 6 1/2-furlong Hendrie, her first appearance of the year, a race she seemingly needed.

Last year, Rashnaa finished third in two stakes, the Sweet Briar Too and the Grade 3 Seaway. The lack of speed in this event won’t suit her closing style, but she’s being reunited with Luis Contreras, the rider who knows her best. Bob Tiller trains her.

Skylara was scratched from last Saturday’s Grade 2 Nassau Stakes.

Skylara picked off the first two allowance conditions in the fall, which included a determined triumph where she registered an 85 Beyer Figure on Dec. 3. She finished well back in sixth in her season debut in a difficult optional event at Keeneland, from which victorious Dr. Diamonds Prize exited to run second in the Hendrie.

Skylara seemed poised to bring her “A” game under Tyler Pizarro, who was aboard for each of her two most recent wins.

My Perfect Ten has been idle since ending up third behind champion Delightful Mary and Rashnaa in a Nov. 17 optional claimer. She can fire while fresh, but this is a tough assignment for her return to action.

Rounding out the field is another comebacker, Euro Platinum, a two-time stakes winner in restricted company.

Euro Platinum captured the 2010 Jammed Lovely Stakes over seven furlongs at 40-1. She went off at 23-1 when triumphant in last year’s Algoma, for graduates of local yearling sales.