Eugene Melnyk never imagined he'd be rooting for a Maple Leaf win, but that's exactly what the owner of the NHL's Ottawa Senators is hoping for this Saturday at Woodbine.The chairman of the board of pharmaceutical giant Biovail will be keeping close tabs on his 4-year-old filly Schooner Bay, seeking her second consecutive win, this time in the $175,000 Maple Leaf Stakes (Can-III) at 1 1/4 miles on the Toronto oval's main track. main track."I guess this is the only time I'll be cheering for a Maple Leaf victory," laughed Melnyk, one of Thoroughbred racing's most prominent owners. Schooner Bay has enjoyed a stellar 2005 campaign, recording four wins and two seconds from six starts.
The Ontario-bred daughter of Archers Bay has never finished lower than fifth in 10 career starts and has earned $245,021 to date.The bay heads into the Maple Leaf off a 2 3/4-length triumph in the Classy 'n Smart Stakes, her first appearance in an added-money event.Named after a development on the west coast of Barbados, Schooner Bay is at the top of her game these days, according to trainer David Bell."I have high hopes for her," said Bell. "She ran a very improved race last time and she's always trained and looked like a nice filly."Having Emile Ramsammy in the irons won't hurt Schooner Bay's chances either. The veteran jockey has won the past two editions of the Maple Leaf, both with champion mare One For Rose.
$175,000 Maple Leaf Stakes (Can-III), fillies & mares 3 & up, 1 1/4 miles
PP / Horse / Jockey / Trainer
1 / Raylene / Jim McAleney / Rodney Haynes
2 / Roving Angel / Constant Montpellier / Robert Pion
3 / Schooner Bay / Emile Ramsammy / David Bell
4 / Quick Temper / Todd Kabel / Bobby Barnett
5 / Virginia Plain / Jim McKnight / James Smith
6 / Simply Again / Eurico Rosa Da Silva / Andrew Smith
7 / Silver Impulse / Emma-Jayne Wilson / Stanley Baresich
8 / Springledge / Na Somsanith / Scott Fairlie
9 / Ballroom Deputy / Dino Luciani / Josie Carroll
10 / Whispertoascream / Corey Fraser / Robert Tiller
11 / Spanish Decree / Slade Callaghan / Frank Huarte
12 / Nomistakeaboutit / Jono Jones / Mike Doyle