Noble Stella Chases Dance Smartly Repeat

(from Woodbine report)
Noble Stella, a 5-year-old daughter of Monsun, chases a repeat victory in the $300,000 Dance Smartly Stakes Can-II) Saturday at Woodbine.

Trained by Roger Attfield, Noble Stella comes into this year's event in peak form, her most recent score coming in the New York Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIT) on June 24 at Belmont.

To be contested over 1 1/8-miles on the E.P. Taylor Turf Course, the Dance Smartly represents Noble Stella's first race at the Toronto oval since a sixth-place finish in the E.P. Taylor Stakes (Can-I) last October. She won last year's Dance Smartly by one length.

"She's just a very happy girl right now," said Attfield, describing Noble Stella, who has seven lifetime wins from 24 starts. "She was that way last year, too. She's doing extremely well and, even though she's coming back on just three weeks rest, it doesn't seem to bother her."

The German-bred has enjoyed a stellar 2006 campaign to date, compiling two wins, one second, and two thirds from five starts. She ran a career-best figure in the New York Breeders' Cup.

"She's such a versatile girl," said Attfield, noting the dark bay's ability to race on the lead or from off the pace. "In her last race, it was a bottomless turf with no pace, so she took the lead. She gave them every opportunity to take aim at her, but she was determined to win."

With nearly $600,000 in purse earnings, Noble Stella has been as consistent as they come, having picked up a check in eight of her past nine starts. In her six previous starts, she's finished no worse than third.

Attfield won't be agonizing over how the turf is listed for the Dance Smartly this Saturday.

"It doesn't matter," he said. "She can handle it however it comes up."

$300,000 Danc Smartly Stakes (Can-II, Race 6, 3:30 p.m.) Fillies & Mares 3 & Up, 1 1/8 Miles (Turf)
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Noble Stella (GER), 121, Mike E. Smith
2. Kabul (ON), 113, Slade Callaghan
3. Elle Runaway (KY), 117, Justin Stein
4. Ambitious Cat (KY), 113, Todd Kabel
5. Ozone Bere (FR), 115, Kent J. Desormeaux
6. Winds of Time (IRE), 113, Emile Ramsammy