10/11/2010 12:29PM

Woodbine talent eyes Breeders' Cup

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Michael Burns
Wyomia, Emile Ramsammy up, wins the Mazarine.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario – The local 2-year-olds got a chance to strut their stuff here in last weekend’s Mazarine and Grey stakes, a pair of Grade 3 races at 1 1/16 miles that are positioned as possible stepping-stones to the Breeders’ Cup.

And the best performance, from a Beyer Speed Figure standpoint, went to the filly Wyomia, who earned a 91 for her front-running 2 3/4-length tour de force in Saturday’s $228,000 Mazarine.

Blue Laser, a colt who was up in time for a half-length victory in Sunday’s $253,250 Grey, received a more modest Beyer Figure of 74 after finishing in a time almost two seconds slower than that of Wyomia.

Neither Wyomia nor Blue Laser is a lock to go on to their Breeders’ Cup events, but Delightful Mary and Rockin Heat, the respective runners-up in the Mazarine and Grey, could be bound for Churchill Downs.

Danny Vella, who trains Wyomia for owners Edward Seltzer and Beverley Anderson, was noncommittal with regards to a Breeders’ Cup appearance.

“We hadn’t thought about it in advance – we wanted to get this one in us,” said Vella, while admitting to concern over the fact that the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies will be run on the dirt.

“They told me that when she was training on dirt on the farm, down in Florida, that sometimes she was spinning her wheels a little bit,” said Vella.

Wyomia, bred in Kentucky, had built a good foundation at Seltzer’s Solara Farm before checking into Vella’s barn here in early July.

“When I first worked her in company, she was impressive,” said Vella. “You could tell right away she was going to be a two-turn filly.

“It’s nice to have a horse that runs to her training. You’re always cautious, about whether they’ll do that. She’s a 100-percent legit racehorse.”

After opening with a decent fifth-place finish over seven furlongs of turf, Wyomia stretched out to a mile and 70 yards and was a 5 3/4-length winner from just off the pace.

In the Mazarine, Wyomia made all the running under regular rider Emile Ramsammy and held off odds-on favorite Delightful Mary, who was saddled by Mark Casse.

“The plan had been to try and get her to relax, and to sit behind Mark’s horse,” said Vella, who also noted that the late scratch of Anne’s Purse had taken some potential speed out of the Mazarine.

“But, I gave Emile the option to do what he had to do.”

Blue Laser, a Kentucky-bred, races for WinStar Farm, whose racing manager is former trainer Elliot Walden.

“Early on, I told Elliot I didn’t know how good he was, but that I thought then that he was a boy, and that we’d find out when he became a man,” said Casse.

“He’s starting to show that now in himself, but I still think he has a way to go before he realizes his full potential.”

Blue Laser began his career here with a third-place finish over seven furlongs on turf, but then was a game winner under his regular rider, Corey Fraser, when stretching out to a mile and 70 yards on the main track in his only other appearance before the Grey.

“His turf race was just adequate,” said Casse, “but since then he’s done something I don’t think many 2-year-olds this year have done, which is to run around two turns twice and win both times.”

Casse will be conferring with Walden before deciding whether Blue Laser joins Delightful Mary next week on a van for Louisville.

Delightful Mary, with Fraser in the irons for the third time in as many starts, was suffering her first defeat following convincing victories over six furlongs and one mile and 70 yards.

“We’ll see how she likes the dirt,” said Casse, who trains the Florida-bred Delightful Mary for owner John Oxley.

Another second for Rockin Heat

Rockin Heat was coming into the Grey off a second-place finish under returning rider Eurico Rosa da Silva over one mile on turf here in the one-mile Summer.

Racing for the Bear Stable of Danny Dion, the Kentucky-bred Rockin Heat now has been the runner-up in each of his four starts.

“He’ll run on anything,” said trainer Reade Baker, who also has watched Rockin Heat work well over the dirt training surface here.

“But if he goes to the Breeders’ Cup I’d want to run him in the Juvenile. I’m afraid you’d get caught in a jackpot on the turf, and get shuffled back, like he did [in the Grey].

“If he’d got between horses at the half-mile pole I don’t think they’d have beaten him.”

Roxy Gap iffy for cup

Casse said that Roxy Gap’s chances of appearing in Louisville are growing slim.

“She’s back at the track, but she’s a longshot to make the Breeders’ Cup,” he said.

Roxy Gap, undefeated in three starts, was scratched on the morning of the Sept. 18 Natalma, a one-mile turf race for which she loomed a solid favorite, after spiking a fever and developing an abscess on her leg.

Casse still is hoping that Roxy Gap can rally at the 11th hour and make an appearance in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies turf.

Field Commission has options

Field Commission, a 5-year-old horse owned by Vella and Seltzer, could be looking to defend his title in the $500,000 Nearctic, a six-furlong race for 3-year-olds and upward that is one of three Grade 1 turf stakes here Saturday.

Vella has kept his options open, however, by entering Field Commission in the $100,000 Mt. Sassafras, a seven-furlong race for Ontario-foaled 3-year-olds and upward on the main track here Wednesday evening.

“We went in for a look,” said Vella. “I don’t know if we want to hook Smokey Fire, for $100,000.”

Smokey Fire, who will be favored in the Mt. Sassafras, won the 6 1/2-furlong Bold Venture in his only start on the main track here this year, leaving the odds-on Hollywood Hit and former Canadian horse of the year and sprint champion, Fatal Bullet, in his wake.

Field Commission has not won in seven starts since the Nearctic, with six of those coming this year, but Vella believes that this charge often has been a victim of circumstances.

“It’s been a tad disappointing,” said Vella. “I think the sprinting category here is probably as good as anywhere, and when you’re a come-from-behind sprinter it can be very tough.”