06/15/2006 11:00PM

Bear Soldier small but speedy


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - The 99 runnings of the Victoria Stakes have produced many rapid 2-year-olds, including 1981 Eclipse Award winner Deputy Minister, Nearctic, and Fozzie Bear.

Bear Soldier will try to add his name to the list in Sunday's renewal of the five-furlong dash, which is worth $125,000.

Bear Soldier, a $70,000 2-year-old purchase from a Florida sale, was an authoritative winner of his debut, in a 4 1/2-furlong maiden special May 28. He displayed a smooth, efficient stride and earned a Beyer Figure of 71.

Trainer Reade Baker was thrilled with Bear Soldier's opener.

"I was terribly impressed," Baker said. "He probably won as easily as any horse I've ever trained."

Bear Soldier is by Lost Soldier, the sire of reigning champion sprinter Lost in the Fog. Bear Soldier's full brother Ballonenostrikes was a versatile stakes winner of $183,930.

Baker felt that Bear Soldier didn't blow anybody away at the sale.

"He's kind of a plain little guy," Baker said. "He's on the small side, and wasn't flashy at all. I know he didn't work really fast, because we didn't buy anything that worked [one furlong] in 10.20 or 10.40."

Baker said Bear Soldier has trained forwardly since his debut.

"He worked five-eighths the other day in 1:01 and change," Baker said. "We're right where we want to be."

Kentucky shipper Chace City was supplemented to the Victoria at a cost of $2,500.

Based at Churchill Downs with trainer Steve Asmussen, Chace City won his only start there May 6, receiving a 68 Beyer for running five furlongs in 58.40 seconds.

Pete's Wonder was also supplemented, by trainer Laurie Silvera. He graduated at first asking April 16, running a quarter-mile in 21.80.

The other winners in the seven-horse field are Cats Are Tricky and Fast Trick.

Baker will also send out Bosskiri in Sunday's supporting feature, the $75,000 Zadracarta Stakes for Ontario-foaled fillies and mares.

Bosskiri will make her first start on the grass in the six-furlong event. Just 11 days ago, she captured the restricted Ballade Stakes in a gutsy performance while upsetting the favorite, Financingavailable.

"We're coming back quickly here, but I always wanted to try her on the turf," Baker said. "She's from a turf family. She's a big, husky filly, and this kind of thing shouldn't bother her at all."

The Bob Tiller-trained entry of Top Ten List and Velvet Snow will likely be favored in the Zadracarta.