Strike Softly Turns in Lovely Effort at Woodbine

(from Woodbine report)
Favored Strike Softly swept past the leaders approaching the eighth pole and drew away for an easy victory in the (US)$133,646 Jammed Lovely for 3-year-old Canadian-bred fillies at Woodbine Sunday.

The chestnut daughter of Smart Strike overtook runner-up London Snow and cruised under the wire a 3 1/4-length winner. Seductively closed late along the inside to finish third.

Bred and owned by Sam-Son Farms, Strike Softly traveled seven furlongs in 1:24.51 for her fourth career win in 10 starts, increasing her earnings to (Can)$425,900. She has three stakes wins in 2006.

Todd Kabel, a winner of 13 stakes at the Toronto, rode strike Softly meet. Mark Frostad, who has racked up eight Woodbine stakes wins in 2006, trains her.

In the opening half-mile (:45.86), Kabel had Strike Softly covered up in mid-pack in the two-path, just inside of Seductively and within three lengths of front-runner Sugar Swirl.

Going into the turn, Kabel nudged Strike Softly to commence her rally and she improved nicely, securing a path slightly off the rail. Kabel angled his filly outside as the field turned for home for clear run at a tiring London Snow, who had made an enterprising bid in the middle stages of the race to wear down Robert Frankel trainee Sugar Swirl.

As Strike Softly took command, she drifted out slightly after two left-handed cracks of the whip from Kabel. In the final 100 yards, the Manitoba-born rider switched to his right hand to straighten out his mount.

Strike Softly's two previous stakes scores came on the E.P. Taylor Turf, in the July 9 Ontario Damsel at 6 1/2 furlongs and the October 7 Carotene at 1 1/8 miles.

She returned $6, $3.30 and $2.90, and combined with London Snow ($7.10, $3.80) for an exacta worth $46. Seductively ($3.20) completed a $154.40 trifecta.

Sugar Swirl, River Lee, Cassical Miss, Miss Meggie and Homesteader followed. Half Sister was scratched.

(Chart, Equibase)