05/18/2011 1:54PM

Woodbine: Turf-stakes winners facing off


ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Jenny’s So Great and Moonlit Beauty, both of whom became stakes winners on Woodbine’s turf course last season, should be making their seasonal bows in Friday’s headliner.

The third-level allowance/optional $75,000 claiming race offers a purse of $79,700 and is scheduled to be the first turf race of the meeting, at 6 1/2 furlongs.

And, while there is a strong likelihood that the race will be taken off the grass, both Jenny’s So Great and Moonlit Beauty also have been effective on the local Polytrack.

Jenny’s So Great, a 4-year-old owned by Bill and Vicki Poston, found her calling on turf last summer and became a stakes winner in the Oct. 3 Carotene over 1 1/8 miles of good going.

“She’s come back and trained really well,” said De Gannes, who had sent Jenny’s So Great to Florida for the winter.

“I think she’ll handle any surface.”

Moonlit Beauty, a homebred 5-year-old who races for Bill Gierkink, put together a three-race win streak last spring, capped by her score in the Zadracarta Stakes.

After wintering on her owner’s farm, Moonlit Beauty came back in to trainer John LeBlanc when the backstretch opened here in mid-February.

“She’s been working well, on her own, and she’s been eating up everything we’ve put in front of her,” said LeBlanc. “This race is in preparation for another run at the Zadracarta.”

The $100,000 Zadracarta, a seven-furlong turf race here June 18, is an overnight stakes for Ontario-foaled fillies and mares and would require a field of at least five to be carded.

Jesse Campbell has picked up the mount on Jenny’s So Great, and Jono Jones gets the call on Moonlit Beauty.

The comebacking fillies, however, will be conceding a recency edge to Valli With A Vow, who wintered at the Fair Grounds with trainer Josie Carroll.

Valli With A Vow, a Kentucky-bred who races for her breeders, Darrell and Lendy Brown, won the Pago Hop Stakes over one mile on turf at the Fair Grounds last Dec. 4 and then was a distant fourth over the same course in the 1 1/16 mile Bayou on March 26.

In her last start, which came in Keeneland’s Grade 2 Jenny Wiley, Valli With A Vow ended last in a field of 10 but was beaten just six lengths after a wide trip over 1 1/16 miles on yielding going.

Rounding out the field will be Crimson Glory, Indigo North, Lemon Twirl, Greenapple Martini, and Retraceable.

Lemon Twirl, the only entrant in for the claiming price, would be making her seasonal bow for trainer John Mattine.