08/11/2007 12:00AM

Bear Now dominant in Duchess


ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Bear Now returned to her dominant ways here at Woodbine on Saturday, romping to a 6 1/4-length victory over fellow 3-year-old fillies in the $159,300 Duchess at seven furlongs.

Trained by Reade Baker, Bear Now had finished fourth last time out in the Grade 2, 1 1/16-mile Delaware Oaks, but before that had won consecutive 1 1/16-mile stakes at Woodbine.

Any concerns about Bear Now cutting back in distance were dispelled shortly after the start as she assumed command under new rider Jerry Baird.

"As soon as she popped out of the gate she knew where she wanted to be," said Baird. "I didn't fight her. I let her do her own thing, and she took off from there."

When Bear Now hung up her first quarter in a modest 23.08 seconds, her opponents were running for second money. Bear Now got the half in 45.79 and six furlongs in 1:09.48, and finished in a solid 1:22.15 as Baird wrapped up on her through the final stages.

Speak Wisely won the battle for second, rallying to defeat third-place Lyrically by a half-length.

Bear Now, a Kentucky-bred, returned $3.70 and pocketed $90,000 to bring her career total to $416,771 for the Bear Stable of Danny Dion.