A well-matched field of 11 three-year-old fillies will go to the post Saturday in Woodbine's featured $141,375 La Lorgnette Stakes, over 1 1/16 mile on the main track.
Named for the Windfields Farm's champion filly who won both the Canadian Oaks and Queen's Plate in 1985, La Lorgnette has also proven to be a success as a broodmare. One of her offspring is the two-time Group I winner Hawk Wing, who goes postward Saturday in England in the Group I Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot as the heavy favorite.
For its third edition, the La Lorgnette has attracted stakes winners Lady Shari, Silver Nithi, Mulrainy, Jealous Forum and Brass in Pocket.
Lady Shari, a daughter of Judge T C, won the Canadian Derby (gr. III) at Edmonton's Northlands Park on Aug. 24, before finishing fifth as the heavy favorite in the British Columbia Breeders' Cup Oaks at Hastings Park in Vancouver, Sept. 7. Last year, the dark bay filly won the Mazarine Breeders' Cup Stakes as an 18-1 longshot for trainer and co-owner David Cotey and partners Derek Ball and Hugh Galbraith. She's the field's leading money winner with $450,415 and will be ridden by Constant Montpellier.
Richard and Jo Ellen Shaw's Silver Nithi is the second-leading money winner with $392,303, nearly all of which has been generated this season. Trained by David Bell, the daughter of Numerous came from far back to finish a closing second to favored Ginger Gold in the prestigious Labatt Woodbine Oaks June 8.
She then turned the tables on the 2001 Sovereign Award winner in the July 1 Bison City Stakes at Fort Erie, the second leg in the Triple Tiara, winning by three-quarters of a length in the 1 1/16-mile contest.
After an out of the money finish in the Wilderness Song, Silver Nithi rebounded with two superb efforts on the turf, a second to Hot Talent in the 1 1/4-mile Wonder Where, Aug. 5, and a fourth to Calista in the 1 1/8-mile Canadian Handicap Sept. 8.. A win in the La Lorgnette could certainly propel her to the forefront for divisional honours. Richard Dos Ramos rides.
Hard-knocking Mulrainy, to be ridden by Chantal Sutherland, won the seven-furlong Duchess Stakes on Aug. 10 and has been stakes placed on numerous occasions. Owned by Les Roberts' Wings of Erin Farm and trained by Tommy O'Keefe, the Star de Naskra filly boasts career earnings of $371,701.
Trainer Mark Casse has entered a pair in Jealous Forum and Forum Search, both daughters of Open Forum, with three-time Sovereign Award winner Patrick Husbands named on both.
Jealous Forum has won four of her 11 lifetime starts and deposited $302,495 into her owner Mockingbird Farm's coffers. Last year, she won the five-furlong My Dear Stakes and just failed to last in the Mazarine, dropping a neck decision to Lady Shari. This year, she stretched out to capture the 1 1/16-mile Wilderness Song Stakes on July 13, hanging on by a nose over Winning Chance and Mulrainy.
Forum Search, stakes placed last year, has won three of her seven 2002 outings, but has never raced further than seven furlongs.
Trainer Bob Tiller saddles Brass in Pocket for owner Frank DiGiulio Jr. The speedy daughter of Domasca Dan has never finished worse than third in six career efforts, with four wins, including the 1 1/16-mile Eternal Search Stakes July 31. The career earner of $222,805 will be handled by Todd Kabel.
Trainer Roger Attfield sends out a trio in the Frank Stronach entry of Touch of Ginger and Winning Chance and Kinghaven Farms' Bala.
Touch of Ginger, a daughter of 1996 Breeders' Cup Classic winner Alphabet Soup, is unbeaten in two starts but tries stakes company for the first time. Jim McAleney has been named to ride. Winning Chance, another Alphabet Soup filly, is stakes-placed, finishing a nose behind Jealous Forum in the Wilderness Song. Slade Callaghan will be aboard.
Two-time winner Bala, a daughter of 1989 Canadian Triple Crown champion and Horse of the Year With Approval, will be ridden by Jim McKnight.
Chase Gap, a $1.8 million yearling purchase by Eugene and Laura Melnyk, broke her maiden impressively at Saratoga in August and was most recently second in an allowance tilt there Aug. 31. Last year, she finished fourth to Lady Shari in the Mazarine in only her second career start. Robert Landry gets the call on the Todd Pletcher-trained daughter of Hennessy.
Completing the field is Judge Me Ifyoucan, a winner once in 14 starts, with Na Somsanith named to ride.$141,375 La Lorgnette, 1 1/16 mile, 3-Year-Old Fillies
PP/Horse/Trainer/Jockey/Morning line odds
1/Jealous Forum/Mark Casse/Patrick Husbands/8-1 (a)
2/Lady Shari/David Cotey/Constant Montpellier/3-1
3/Forum Search/Mark Casse/Patrick Husbands/8-1 (a)
4/Bala/Roger Attfield/James McKnight/15-1
5/Winning Chance/Roger Attfield/Slade Callaghan/4-1 (b)
6/Judge Me Ifyoucan/Beverley Buck/Na Somsanith/20-1
7/Chase Gap/Todd Pletcher/Robert Landry/9-2
8/Silver Nithi/David Bell/Richard Dos Ramos/8-1
9/Touch of Ginger/Roger Attfield/Jim McAleney/4-1 (b)
10/Brass in Pocket/Robert Tiller/Todd Kabel/6-1
11/Mulrainy/Tom O'Keefe/Chantal Sutherland/6-1
a) Mockingbird Farm entry
b) Stronach Stables entry