TORONTO, May 8 - Saskawea will make her five-year-old debut in Sunday's Grade 3, $150,000 Hendrie Stakes at Woodbine.

The 6 1/2-furlong event for fillies and mares, four-years-old and older, has attracted nine entrants, four of which have recorded $500,000 or more in career earnings.

Saskawea, who has five wins and seven seconds from 17 career starts, is the richest mare in the field, with $646,361 in the bank.

The Ontario-bred filly is owned and bred by Beclawat Stable and is trained by Steve Attard, who said the mare is all set for her 2009 debut.

"She's training very, very well," he said. "So far, everything is perfect with her."

The daughter of Stormy Atlantic shipped into Woodbine in March, after three months of rest and relaxation.

"She was on the farm doing nothing. She shipped in March 1. This is the earliest race I could have had her ready for. I wouldn't have minded being in the Whimsical, but we had to skip that because we weren't quite ready," explained Attard.

Saskawea, who will be ridden by Jono Jones, made steady progress in her training over the past month.

On April 14, the mare blazed a half-mile in :46 3/5, breezing, which was the best of 23 moves at the distance.

Most recently, on May 3, Saskawea worked six furlongs in 1:13-flat, handily. The mare had an interesting escort for the move.

"It was funny," said Attard. "My brother-in-law, Mike DePaulo, had Deputiformer going out at the same time. Jono Jones was on Deputiformer. I asked (Mike) if he wanted some company. He said his horse worked fast without company."

Attard figured that meant DePaulo didn't want the pair to go together, but then Jones interjected.

"Jono said, 'Come on Steve, don't worry about it.' I think Jono wanted the company more than anybody to see how Saskawea was doing. It was good for him to see her. We went with them and they had an awesome workout. Jono was on Deputiformer, watching Saskawea work. He was really impressed with her."

Jones partnered Saskawea in four of her five 2008 starts, including her three-quarter length triumph in the Avowal (seven furlongs, turf) and a close runner-up finish to Smart Surprise in the seven-furlong Bessarabian.

Saskawea drew post seven for the Hendrie.

"I love the post position we got," added Attard. "There's a lot of speed in the race. We're sitting on the outside and we'll be able to see what's going on."

The Hendrie is slated for race eight on Sunday's 10-race programme.



1 - Dancing Allstar - Jim McAleney - Terry Jordan
2 - Authenicat - Robert Landry - Josie Carroll
3 - Proud Heiress - Julio Felix - Wayne Mogge
4 - Verdana Bold - Tyler Pizarro - Daniel Vella
5 - Bear Lahaina - Eurico Rosa da Silva - Reade Baker
6 - Arden Belle - Emma-Jayne Wilson - Robert Gerl
7 - Saskawea - Jono Jones - Steve Attard
8 - Smart Surprise - Patrick Husbands - Josie Carroll
9 - Hello Maggie May - Richard Dos Ramos - Roger Attfield