05/20/2007 11:00PM

Bear Now sets track record


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Sunday's Grade 3, $250,000 Selene looked like a wide-open race, with a case to be made for at least half of the 3-year-old fillies in the 12-horse field here at Woodbine.

Instead, the 1 1/16-mile Selene turned out to be a one-horse race as Bear Now, traveling around two turns for the first time, tracked a quick pace and roared through the stretch for an eight-length score under new rider Emile Ramsammy.

Bear Now, winning her first stakes race for Danny Dion's Bear Stable and trainer Reade Baker, finished in a track-record 1:43.73 and earned a startling Beyer Speed Figure of 98.

"I'd hoped she'd go two turns, when I took the blinkers off her at the end of last year," said Baker. "Physically, she looks more like a sprinter."

Bear Now, being Kentucky-bred, is facing a dearth of suitable opportunities here.

"She ran a monster race; she'll need some time coming out of that," said Baker. "Maybe we'll find a good stake for her somewhere 30 days from now, and if she passes that test we'll go to Saratoga with her."

Sahara Heat makes it three in a row

The invader Sahara Heat, owned by Darley Stable and trained by Eoin Harty, recorded his third straight score here in last Saturday's Grade 3, $150,000 Marine at 1 1/16 miles.

After winning his maiden going 1 1/8 miles at Gulfstream Park, Sahara Heat had relocated to Keeneland and captured a first-level allowance at 1 1/16 miles.

"The horse had run well on the Polytrack, in Keeneland," said Harty, who was at Santa Anita last weekend and left the saddling chores at Woodbine to assistant Oliver Costello. "The Marine looked like a good spot to have him step up in class, and find out if he had the quality to continue in that direction."

Sahara Heat was clocked in 1:46.47 and earned a modest Beyer Speed Figure of 77.

The Marine was the second stakes win and the third win in as many Woodbine starts for Harty, who had won a maiden race and the Grade 3 Grey with Unification in 2005 but saw his streak end when Marietta finished third in the Selene.

Casse seeks softer spot for Marchfield

Trainer Mark Casse, who sent out runner-up Approval Rating and seventh-place finisher Skip Code in the Marine, had his major Queen's Plate and Woodbine Oaks candidates out for five-furlong drills over the weekend.

Marchfield, who is heading for the June 24 Queen's Plate, worked in 1:01.20 on Saturday, while Sealy Hill was clocked in 1:00.60 as she continued her preparations for the June 10 Woodbine Oaks.

Marchfield and Sealy Hill are homebreds owned by Eugene Melnyk, and their regular rider, Patrick Husbands, was in the irons for both workouts.

Marchfield, runner-up in the 1 1/8-mile Coronation Futurity here last fall, won a 1 1/16-mile maiden special by a nose in his first local start of the season here May 6.

"He ran such a hard race last time, I didn't want him to do a whole lot," said Casse, regarding Marchfield's move on Saturday.

While Marchfield is nominated to the $150,000 Plate Trial, a 1 1/8-mile race for Canadian-bred 3-year-olds here June 3, Casse is exploring other options.

"I'd prefer, honestly, not to give him another really tough race," said Casse.

Sealy Hill won the Grade 3 Bourbonette at Turfway Park before finishing up the track in the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks.

"We just let her break off and sit behind some horses, and she finished even with them," Casse said of Sealy Hill's Sunday workout. "She got a little wound up in the [Kentucky] Oaks and didn't want to rate, so we're just been trying to get her to relax."

Quiet Action, another Woodbine Oaks possibility in Casse's barn, worked five furlongs in 1:01.40 on Saturday under jockey Emma-Jayne Wilson.

Runner-up in the seven-furlong Fury last time out, Quiet Action is not Oaks-eligible and would have to be supplemented on entry day at a cost of $12,500, including the $5,000 entry fee.

Quiet Jungle prepping for Oaks

Quiet Jungle worked six furlongs in 1:13.60 under jockey Todd Kabel here Sunday and is slated to make her next start in the Woodbine Oaks.

"She started off behind a couple of horses, and closed a couple of lengths," said Frostad.

Quiet Jungle won a first-level allowance at 1o1/16 miles when making her local debut and third career start here May 6.

Markdale works quickly

Markdale, runner-up in the seven-furlong Queenston here May 5, worked five furlongs in a bullet 59.40 seconds here last Saturday in preparation for the Plate Trial.

Patrick Husbands, who rode Markdale for the first time in the Queenston, was aboard for the drill and has the call for the Plate Trial.

"It was probably a little bit fast, but he came out of it well," said Eric Coatrieux, who trains Markdale for Chiefswood Stable.

Mountain Wolf euthanized

Mountain Wolf, a Queen's Plate candidate who was runner-up to Marchfield on May 6, had to be euthanized after breaking down on the main track Sunday morning.

"He had just finished working and was galloping out when he shattered a sesamoid," said Brian Lynch, who trains Mountain Wolf for Stronach Stable.

'Like Mom' scheduled for bloodwork

Like Mom Like Sons, who suffered his first defeat with a faltering fifth-place finish in last Saturday's Grade 3 Hirsch Jacobs at Pimlico, was back home at Woodbine on Sunday.

"He was too quiet down there," said Sid Attard, who trains Like Mom Like Sons for Howard Walton. "He never ran his race. We're going to wait a couple of days, then take a 'blood' on him."