Wood­bine: On­tario Ma­tron

Daily Racing Form Saturday Stakes Preview - - FRONT PAGE - – Ron Gierkink

ETO­BI­COKE, On­tario – Reign­ing Cana­dian cham­pion older fe­male Strut the Course added another feather to her cap July 5 when she took the Grade 2 Dance Smartly Stakes on grass. She goes back to the Poly­track on Satur­day at Wood­bine in the $150,000 On­tario Ma­tron, a Grade 3 stakes at 1 1/16 miles.

Strut the Course was blocked be­hind ri­vals in the stretch be­fore end­ing up fifth when re­turn­ing from a six­month lay­off May 23 in the Grade 2 Nas­sau Stakes. Trip hand­i­cap­pers were all over her when she resur­faced July 5 in the nine-fur­long Dance Smartly, which she won by a head at 3-1 af­ter try­ing to lay in through the stretch.

“She came out of the race re­ally good,” trainer Barb Min­shall said. “She’s get­ting bet­ter all the time. She han­dles the Poly­track re­ally well, so I thought I’d put her in here. She’s train­ing great.”

Strut the Course romped in back-to-back Poly­track stakes last fall, most no­tably the Grade 3 Maple Leaf.

Min­shall also has a con­tender in Satur­day’s sup­port­ing fea­ture, Hol­ly­wood Hide­away, who is among eight 2-year-olds in the $125,000 Colin Stakes.

Hol­ly­wood Hide­away cap­tured his de­but by dis­qual­i­fi­ca­tion, lead­ing the way on grass be­fore fall­ing a head short in the six-fur­long Vic­to­ria Stakes here June 20.

“I’ve al­ways liked him,” Min­shall said. “He trains real well on the Poly­track. He’s a very rate­able horse.”

The Zip Zip Man, a Chicago ship­per trained by Mike Stidham, could be fa­vored in the six-fur­long Colin off a fast de­but score over Ar­ling­ton’s Poly­track. His 83 Beyer Speed Fig­ure from that maiden spe­cial weight dash is the six­th­high­est earned by a 2-year-old on the con­ti­nent this year.

BENOIT & AS­SO­CI­ATES

Gary Stevens rode Catch a Flight to this win May 30 in the Cal­i­for­nian but felt he moved too soon June 27 in the Gold Cup at Santa Anita.

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