Seaway: Nikkis Smartypants Back on Polytrack


After leaving her turf rivals behind in the Royal North Stakes (Can-IIIT) one month ago, Nikkis Smartypants will attempt to do the same thing on Polytrack in the $150,000 Seaway Stakes (Can-III) Aug. 31 at Woodbine.

The 4-year-old daughter of Smarty Jones   produced an 8-1 upset in the six-furlong Royal North, her graded-stakes debut for trainer Robert Tiller and owner Benjamin Hutzel. The Seaway, at seven furlongs on the all-weather track, attracted five filly and mare opponents for Nikkis Smartypants, who will carry 119 pounds while ridden once again by Eurico Rosa Da Silva.

Nikkis Smartypants drew the far outside post, which should aid her stalking ability. The bay filly is 2-for-2 this season, opening her campaign with a six-furlong allowance/optional claiming victory June 15 on Woodbine's main track.

She came back to post a resilient win in the Royal North, pressing the pace and then rallying to a 1 1/2-length win when pressured by several others in the homestretch. All five of Nikkis Smartypants' prior starts were on Woodbine's synthetic surface, including three wins and a second.

Among those she will be facing in the Seaway (race 8 on the card with a 4:17 p.m. EDT post time) is Roxy Gap, who faded to fourth in the Royal North. The double Sovereign Award winner as Canada's top female sprinter and female older horse in 2012, she was making her first start in eight months that day for trainer Mark Casse.

Melnyk Racing Stable's 5-year-old daughter of Indian Charlie is back to her favorite surface in the Seaway, though she was upset in last year's edition when second as the 2-5 favorite to Tu Endie Wei. Roxie Gap, who likes to sit and pounce, will carry top weight of 124 pounds while ridden back by Luis Contreras from post 4.

Murray Stroud's homebred Youcan'tcatchme led all the way under a hand ride in winning Woodbine's six-furlong Etobicoke Handicap Aug. 4 by 2 1/4 lengths in her seasonal bow as a slight favorite. The 4-year-old Florida-bred The Daddy filly, who was clocked 1:09.28, is undoubtedly the speed of the field with Justin Stein in the irons for trainer Sam Di Pasquale.

Strike the Moon and Acting Naughty, second and third, respectively, in the Etobicoke, take another crack. Acting Naughty, who won the Sweet Briar Too Stakes July 6, will race without blinkers for trainer Donald MacRae.

Mekong Delta, making her stakes debut off a 2 3/4-length first-level allowance win at the Seaway distance Aug. 4, completes the field.

$150,000 Seaway Stakes (Can-III, Race 8, 4:17 p.m.), Fillies & Mares 3 & Up, 7 Furlongs (All Weather)

PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer

1. Mekong Delta (ON), J V Bridgmohan, 117, M Mattine

2. Youcan'tcatchme (FL), J Stein, 119, S Di Pasquale

3. Strike the Moon (KY), J M Campbell, 117, M J Trombetta

4. Roxy Gap (ON), L Contreras, 124, M E Casse

5. Acting Naughty (ON), T Pizarro, 121, D C MacRae

6. Nikkis Smartypants (ON), E R Da Silva, 119, R P Tiller

Blinkers Off: Acting Naughty