11/16/2011 2:24PM

Woodbine: Sweetsouthern Doll goes out on high note


ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Sweetsouthern Doll didn’t make many headlines during her racing career, with the majority of her appearances coming in the claiming ranks for owners Anne and Jim Perron.

But, after finishing her career with a 4 1/2-length victory here last Sunday, Sweetsouthern Doll will have a chance to make a name for herself as a broodmare. She ends her career with a record of 9-4-6 and earnings of more than $250,000 from 37 career starts.

“She ran such a good race. It was a nice way for her to go out,” said Jim Perron. “She was a great mare to the whole family. It kept us in racing. My wife had wanted to quit when Meadow Princess broke down.”

Meadow Princess had won three straight races for the Perrons here in 2008 but sustained a broken knee in her next outing.

“We took her to the farm, and tried to keep her going, but we had to put her down,” said Perron

Sweetsouthern Doll, a Florida-bred, had begun her career at Fair Grounds with trainer Ken Hargrave that winter of ‘08 and finished out of the money in her first two starts.

Coming north to Woodbine and trainer David Cross, Sweetsouthern Doll found her groove on synthetic surfaces and would record eight wins and almost $200,000 of her bankroll here, with a few productive side trips to Presque Isle Downs.

After making her last two starts of 2009 here for trainer Brian Lynch and her first two of 2010 in New Orleans with Hargrave, Sweetsouthern Doll settled back in at Woodbine with trainer Ricky Griffith.

There was a brief separation here when Sweetsouthern Doll was claimed for $16,000 this past June, but the Perrons took her right back for $12,500 five weeks later.

“We’d had the full intention of breeding her and when she was claimed we were shocked,” said Perron.

“We were happy to have her back again.

“She has a great temperament and she tried all the time. She always gave 100 percent.”

Perron added that it has taken plenty of time and money to keep Sweetsouthern Doll on track, as the mare had to overcome a number of physical issues.

“She was definitely high-maintenance,” said Perron. “To keep her happy she usually needed two weeks at the farm, then two weeks back at the track before she raced.”

Sweetsouthern Doll currently is at nearby Kelynack Farm, and Perron plans to breed the mare to either Court Vision, Giant Gizmo, or Milwaukee Brew.

“She was such a good horse on synthetics that it makes sense for her to have an Ontario-sired foal,” said Perron, whose son, James, works in the racing office here and is the stable’s biggest booster.

Preparing for a Fair Grounds campaign

Ricky Griffith has a couple of yearlings for Perron on the farm in Florida, but Ken Hargrave remains in charge of the stable’s Louisiana string, which currently consists of Joe’s No Saint, Category Seven, and Cousin Kevin.

Joe’s No Saint has been entered in Saturday’s $150,000 Louisiana Legacy, a one-mile race for Louisiana-bred 2-year-old colts and geldings at Delta Downs.

Category Seven, a 6-year-old mare who has been the barn’s superstar with six stakes wins among her 14 career victories and earnings of $564,617, was injured during the running of the Grade 1 First Lady at Keeneland on Oct. 8.

“She was bumped and hit from behind, coming out of the gate,” said Perron. “It busted up her back end pretty good.

“She’s just started galloping. We’re getting her ready to run at Fair Grounds.”

The Jan. 14 Marie Krantz Memorial, a $75,000 race for fillies and mares over 1 1/16 miles on turf, is Category Seven’s target.

Cousin Kevin, a 3-year-old, was claimed for $20,000 here Oct. 22 and has yet to start for the Perrons.

Signature Red likely to lay back

Signature Red wound up third after stalking the very quick Essence Hit Man in the six-furlong prep for the Kennedy Road Stakes here Oct. 30.

On Saturday, trainer Sid Attard will be looking for a different trip when he sends out Signature Red for the Kennedy Road itself at the same distance.

“I thought we were going to win the race, but he was chasing too much, from the one hole, on the rail,” said Attard, who trains Signature Red for Howard Walton.

Signature Red will be making his third appearance in the Kennedy Road after running third in 2009 and second, beaten a head, last year.

Bred in Kentucky, the 5-year-old Signature Red won the Grade 2 Highlander over six furlongs on turf this summer and has finished second in the six-furlong Jacques Cartier, the 6 1/2-furlong Bold Venture, and the six-furlong King Corrie on the main track.

Maritimer now pointed for Display

Attard also has won stakes this year with Maritimer, Stunning Stag, Buongiorno Johnny, and Eternal Rule.

Maritimer, a homebred 2-year-old who races for Walton, captured the $250,800 Coronation Futurity, a 1 1/8-mile race for Canadian-bred 2-year-olds, in his last start here Nov. 6.

While Attard originally planned to put away Maritimer for the season, the colt is pointing for the 1 1/16-mile Display, a $150,000 race here Nov. 27.

“He’s just doing so good, we’re going to go,” said Attard.

Stunning Stag, a 7-year-old gelding, won the Grade 3 Vigil in his seasonal debut at seven furlongs.

Racing for Attard’s wife, Janice, Stunning Stag has gone on to finish second in the 1 1/16-mile Seagram Cup and to record third-place finishes in the 1 1/16-mile Eclipse, the 1 1/16-mile Autumn, and the Presque Isle Downs Mile.

“I’d like to run him once more, if I can find a spot for him,” said Attard.

Buongiorno Johnny, a Walton homebred who defeated his stablemate Maritimer by a head in the 6 1/2-furlong Vandal, was unplaced in two subsequent starts.

“In his last two races, there was absolutely nothing there,” said Attard. “We scoped him, and had to operate on his throat.”

Eternal Rule made a successful debut last Nov. 7 but then had to undergo surgery for a chipped knee.

Returning to action here June 19, Eternal Rule ran his win streak to three with victories in a six-furlong, first-level allowance and the six-furlong Achievement in what turned out to be his last start of the season back on July 2.

“He chipped the other knee,” said Attard, who trains the homebred gelding for Don Myers. “The operation went very well.”