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Friday, October 31, 2008


Is Northern Netti Woodbine’s next top model?


TORONTO, October 31 - Northern Netti could become a diva of Ontario Fashion on Sunday at Woodbine.

So far in her career, the three-year-old is a model of perfection, entering the $150,000 sprint for fillies and mares with a perfect 3-for-3 dance card.

Far from a one-trick pony, the daughter of City Zip is a two-city, duel-surface talent.


The bay scored twice in Toronto, over Woodbine's Polytrack. In her last start, the New York-bred returned to her birth-state and impressively captured the $109,000 Bouwerie Stakes at Belmont Park, a traditional dirt surface.

The Jim and Susan Hill charge traveled seven furlongs in 1:21.24, which was the third-fastest time of 65 dashes at the distance during Belmont's Spring meet.

"Her last race on the dirt was better than her Poly races, but I think she's a pretty special horse," said trainer Reade Baker, who watched his speed sensation Fatal Bullet run a game second in the Breeders' Cup Sprint, last Saturday at Santa Anita Park.

Northern Netti's 9 1/4-length romp in the Bouwerie had Baker contemplating a campaign towards the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint.

"In the Spring, we were hoping she would be a Breeders' Cup horse, but two things happened. We ran out of time and the (Filly and Mare Sprint) was seven eighths. So that eliminated that," explained Baker.

Time became a factor because Northern Netti chipped a knee during her victory in New York.

"We operated on it in Kentucky. She had three months off. She swam for six weeks. She came back up here and has trained ever since," said Baker.

Northern Netti worked three furlongs on Sept. 21 and proceeded to reel off four consecutive 'bullet' moves over the Woodbine training track, including a five-furlong spin on October 19 in 1:00 1/5, breezing.

"She's ready to run," affirmed Baker. "There's nothing for her in New York right now. If she's successful (in the Ontario Fashion) we'll run her back in the Bessarabian. If not, we'll wait for the dirt at Gulfstream Park."

Riding Northern Netti for the first time in the six-furlong dash will be Emma-Jayne Wilson.

Nothern Netti's 2008 debut, at five furlongs on Polytrack on April 6, gives every indication she can perform just as brilliantly over a synthetic surface. After all, it was this effort that gave Baker the confidence to send her to New York.

"I was expecting a big effort in New York," he recalled. "You had to see the race here at Woodbine to appreciate it. She was on the lead, had somebody go by her and she came back on the outside of her and beat her, going five eighths - not an easy thing to do."

The last three-year-old filly to win the Ontario Fashion was Winter Garden in 2003.

The Ontario Fashion is slated for race eight on Sunday's 10-race programme, which also includes a contentious $73,600 allowance optional claimer that features the comeback of one-time Kentucky Derby hopeful Miner's Claim, a Mark Casse trainee that is also 2-for-2 over Woodbine's Polytrack.

FIELD FOR ONTARIO FASHION

POST - HORSE - JOCKEY - TRAINER

1 - Lucas Street - Patrick Husbands - Malcolm Pierce
2 - Porte Bonheur - Channing Hill - David Duggan
3 - Miss Macy Sue - Eusebio Razo, Jr. - Kelly Von Hemel
4 - Northern Netti - Emma-Jayne Wilson - Reade Baker
5 - Glitter Rox - Gerry Olguin - Ian Black
6 - Arden Belle - Jono Jones - Robert Gerl
7 - Marina Ballerina - Justin Stein - Sam Di Pasquale
8 - Shot Gun Ela - Emile Ramsammy - Ross Armata
9 - Dhanyata - Corey Fraser - Mark Casse
10 - London Snow - Steve Bahen - John Charalambous
11 - A Little Wild - Richard Dos Ramos - Mark Fournier


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