06/07/2009 11:00PM

Woodsmoke pointed for Ontario Damsel


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Woodsmoke didn't make it to the Woodbine Oaks, but she landed a nice consolation prize here Sunday, picking up $69,000 after hanging tough for a front-running nose victory in the $112,700 Alywow.

Woodsmoke, who has been on an accelerated program since debuting successfully here April 19, won the seven-furlong Fury in her second start but then failed her key Woodbine Oaks test when she opened up a long lead and faltered badly in the 1 1/16 mile La Lorgnette.

On Sunday, Woodsmoke was cutting back to 6 1/2 furlongs and trying turf for the first time under regular rider Tyler Pizarro in the open Alywow for 3-year-old fillies.

"She'd worked well on the training turf course last year," said Mike Keogh, who trains the homebred Woodsmoke for owner Gustav Schickedanz. "My only concern was the long stretch on the main course. I knew she'd be on the lead."

Woodsmoke's next target is the $150,000 Ontario Damsel, a 6 1/2-furlong turf race for Ontario-foaled 3-year-old fillies here July 5.

Regrouping with also-rans

Keogh also had two Woodbine Oaks entrants, with Politelyprecocious ending 12 1/2 lengths behind the winner in a dead heat for fifth and First Circle being beaten a total of 18 1/4 lengths as the ninth-place finisher.

Both fillies, also Schickedanz homebreds, remain eligible for the first-level allowance condition.

Politelyprecocious had started three times as a 2-year-old, but First Circle did not debut until May 8.

"I'm going to cut back Politelyprecocious to seven furlongs," said Keogh. "With First Circle, it was a little too much too soon for her - she didn't handle herself all that well.

"I'll get her on the turf. She's a full sister to Marlang."

Owned and bred by Schickedanz and trained by Debbie England, Marlang won Woodbine's Breeders' and Saratoga's Saranac on the grass last year.

He'll take it

The 1 1/8-mile Victoria Park, an open race for 3-year-olds, appears to have lost any relevance it may have had as a Queen's Plate prep and went with just a four-horse field Sunday, including an overmatched maiden.

But you certainly won't hear any complaints from trainer John Ross and owner Domenic Triumbark, who watched Awesome Rhythm record his third consecutive stakes win in the $151,350 Victoria Park.

"It's nice having a horse like that in the barn," said Ross, who also sent out Awesome Rhythm to capture the 1 1/16 mile Wando here May 16 and the Grade 3, 1 1/16 mile Marine three weeks later.

With the next open Polytrack stakes for 3-year-olds here being the 1 1/8-mile Ontario Derby on Sept. 27, Ross and Triumbari will be exploring other options.

"I would like to try working him on the turf," said Ross. "There's a nice 3-year-old turf race here in five weeks, the Toronto Cup, and the timing is right."

The $150,000 Toronto Cup will be run over 1 1/8 miles on grass July 11.