Officer Cherrie won the Mazzarine BC (gr. III-C) last Sept. 29 at Woodbine

Officer Cherrie won the Mazzarine BC (gr. III-C) last Sept. 29 at Woodbine

Michael Burns

Selene: Officer Cherrie Has the Edge

Nine 3-year-old fillies will contest the Seelne Stakes at Woodbine.

Charles Laloggia’s Officer Cherrie, the lone graded stakes winner in a field of nine 3-year-old fillies, seems to have an edge in the $250,000 Selene Stakes (Can-III) May 18 at Woodbine.

The Officerfilly earned her graded stakes victory in the 1 1/16-mile Mazarine Breeders’ Cup (Can-III) Sept. 29 on the Woodbine Polytrack, which is run at the same distance as the Selene. Officer Cherrie also has two other wins on Woodbine’s surface, as she broke her maiden and captured the six-furlong Ontario Debutante Stakes in Toronto last year. She is 3-0-0 from five starts.

Adding to Officer Cherrie’s likability is her connections, trainer Mark Casse and jockey Patrick Husbands, both Sovereign Award winners. Casse currently leads the Woodbine meet with $524,172 in earnings.

Bred in Kentucky by Troy Reed, Officer Cherrie is out of the Sheikh Albadou mare Madamascus. She made her 3-year-old debut at Keeneland in the April 10 Stonerside Beaumont (gr. II), where she finished seventh. The bay filly will carry a co-high weight of 120 pounds.

Also carrying 120 pounds is Zayat Stables’ Mrs. Began, who has made all six of her lifetime starts at Woodbine. Trained by Reade Baker, Mrs. Began hit the winner’s circle for her first and only time Oct. 20 in the 1 1/16-mile Princess Elizabeth Stakes, where she stalked the pace and got up by a neck. Since then she has been off the board in two starts, including a fifth-place effort in her 3-year-old debut last month while in allowance company.

The Jump Start  filly will be ridden by James McAleney. Baker won the Selene last year with Bear Now, who set the stakes record in 1:43.73.

Grace and Power ships to Woodbine for the first time, and looks to improve on a fourth-place effort in the May 2 Edgemont Stakes on the turf at Churchill Downs, her only off the board outing in six lifetime efforts. Trainer Steve Klesaris may be trying the More Than Ready  filly in this spot based on her performance in her only other synthetic surface start – the Dec. 15 Hollywood Starlet (gr. I). In that one, Grace and Power closed from well off the pace to get second, 2 ¾ lengths back of Country Star. All of her other starts have been on turf.

Grace and Power is owned by Food Network star Bobby Flay. She was a $115,000 purchase at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky 2006 Select yearling sale. Ramon Dominguez will ride for the first time.

Edward Seltzer’s Vernanda Bold enters off a one-length score in the six-furlong Star Shoot Stakes April 13 at Woodbine. It was her first try on Polytrack.

$250,000 Selene Stakes (Can-III, Race 8, 4:35 p.m.), 3-Year-Old Fillies, 1 1/16 Miles (Polytrack)
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Initforreal (ON), 116, Constant Montpellier
2. She's the Umpire (FL), 116, David Clark
3. Officer Cherrie (KY), 120, Patrick Husbands
4. Verdana Bold (KY), 118, Emile Ramsammy
5. Simply Splendid (KY), 116, Tyler Pizarro
6. Mrs. Began (ON), 120, James McAleney
7. Grace and Power (KY), 116, Ramon A. Dominguez
8. Victoria Bay (FL), 116, Jono C. Jones
9. Northern Kraze (ON), 116, Chantal Sutherland