Maple Leaf Distance Suits Small Promises

Small Promises is much like the Energizer bunny made famous in a series of well known television commercials – she just keeps going and going and going.

What a difference two turns has made. That alone, according to rider Jim McAleney, is the reason for the strong form Small Promises has displayed of late, resulting in three consecutive wins. The longer the distance, says the Ancaster resident, the better she is.

The Kinghaven Farms and Roger Attfield-owned 4-year-old will put her unbeaten streak on the line in Saturday's $197,750 Maple Leaf Stakes (gr. III) at Woodbine. And as luck would have it, the main track event affords the grey an opportunity to run at 1 ¼-miles, a distance, says McAleney, that suits her just fine.

"She's just been stellar since she started going around two turns," said McAleney, aboard the daughter of Carson City for the trio of triumphs.

It's not as though Small Promises has been ducking her competition, either. After a 2 ¼-length score against a hearty field in the Algoma Stakes on Sept. 2, the Ontario-bred headed south to Fort Erie for a run in the Hindmarsh Stakes. The one-length decision over highly-regarded Devastating was followed up with a strong performance against Sam-Son Farm star Catch the Ring, a rival she'll face in the Maple Leaf.

"She runs real kind just off the pace," said McAleney, of the lifetime winner of seven, who has bankrolled $361,456 to date.

As for what victory has been the most impressive, the Toronto oval's fifth-ranked rider in 2002, says it's a simple case of 'take your pick.'

"She just keeps going and doesn't slow down. All three of her races have been great. The competition has been strong in each one, but she's been fantastic in every race."

$197,750 Maple Leaf (gr. III), 1 1/4 mile, 3 & up
PP/Horse/Rider/ML odds
1 / Lady Shari / Constant Montpellier / 9-2
2 / Saratoga Cat / Todd Kabel / 8-1
3 / My Real Quiet Lady / Chantal Sutherland / 15-1
4 / Rich Mist / Jono Jones / 30-1
5 / *Bala / TBA / 2-1
6 / La Princesse Jolie / Michael Quong / 20-1
7 / Silver Nithi / Richard Dos Ramos / 8-1
8 / Royal Dalliance / Emile Ramsammy / 12-1
9 / Catch the Ring / Rob Landry / 5-2
10 / Asia / Slade Callaghan / 30-1
11 / *Small Promises / Jim McAleney / 2-1
* denotes coupled entry