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Bear's Future eyes Breeders' Cup Juvenile
By Bill Tallon
ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Bear’s Future, who displayed plenty of promise when romping to victory in his seven-furlong debut, passed his first acid test with an authoritative score here in Sunday’s $153,300 Swynford at the same distance.
And, if all proceeds according to plan, Bear’s Future’s future could include an appearance in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Churchill Downs on Nov. 6.
“We’ll try the Grey,” said trainer Reade Baker, alluding to the Grade 3, $225,000 stakes that will be run over 1 1/16 miles here Oct. 10. “He certainly acts like he’ll like going two turns; I’m positive he will.
“All going well, we’ll head to Louisville after that.”
Bear’s Future, a Kentucky-bred who races for the Bear Stable of Danny Dion, was purchased for $52,000 at the Ocala Breeders 2-year-olds in training sale this April.
“He didn’t work really fast; that’s the reason we were able to buy him,” Baker said.
Bear’s Future immediately shipped north to the nearby Pine Valley Training Centre, where he spent about a month before joining Baker at the racetrack.
The colt had worked well in preparation for his debut, and Baker was not surprised to see him score in his opener.
“He’d worked in company with some of our other best 2-year-olds,” said Baker, who names Bear’s Future and Bear Chocolated as his top juvenile performers to date.
Bear Chocalated, a first-out winner at six furlongs here Aug. 2, bucked shins that day and will not return to action until later this fall.
Bear’s Future, meanwhile, followed up his 5 3/4-length score here Aug. 13 with a 3 1/2-length win under returning rider Gerry Olguin in the Swynford.
“I was very happy with him,” said Baker. “I think [Olguin] had to ride him a little harder than I thought he would going in. But he’s a big, lazy, laid-back horse.”
Bear’s Future was the eighth stakes winner of the meeting for Baker, putting him in a tie with Roger Attfield atop that category. It was the second stakes win for Olguin at the meet.
Dancing Raven evens rivalry record
Dancing Raven, trained by Michael Doyle, and Jacally, conditioned by Attfield, were meeting for the fourth time here in last Saturday’s $126,200 La Prevoyante, a one-mile turf race for Ontario-sired 3-year-old fillies.
Two of those engagements had resulted in 1-2 finishes as Dancing Raven edged Jacally by a nose in a nonwinners-of-two at seven furlongs and Jacally left Dancing Raven a neck back in the 1 1/16-mile Eternal Search here Aug. 21.
Sandwiched between those races was the Passing Mood, a seven-furlong turf race that had been won by Jacally, with Dancing Raven 3 1/2 lengths back in third.
“Roger and I were kidding; we said they were like Affirmed and Alydar,” Doyle said after watching Dancing Raven even the series with a 1 1/4-length score in the La Prevoyante, with Jacally beaten a total of 1 1/2 lengths as the third-place finisher.
Dancing Raven, owned and bred by Bill Graham, originally was trained by Attfield but moved into Doyle’s barn this spring.
Jockey “Na Somsanith breezed her for me one morning, just to take some weight off her,” Doyle said. “She worked very good, and I told him I was going to run her soon. It just kind of went from there.”
Dancing Raven, debuting under Chantal Sutherland, was a winner first crack out over six furlongs in her only start prior to the Jacally battles.
Whether the filly prefers turf or Polytrack at this stage of her career is a question that Doyle can’t answer.
“I don’t have a clue,” the trainer said. “I don’t think it would make any difference. I think she’s just getting better.”
All remaining well, Dancing Raven will get another crack at the turf in the 1 1/8-mile Carotene here Oct. 3.
The Carotene is for Ontario-foaled 3-year-old fillies and would represent a step up for Dancing Raven, who has made all of her appearances in Ontario-sired company and was Doyle’s first stakes winner of the meeting.
Sutherland, who has guided Dancing Raven in each of her starts except the Eternal Search, was recording her meet-leading 13th stakes victory in the La Prevoyante.
Doyle also sent out Sulis, a Kentucky-bred 3-year-old filly, for a sharp score on Saturday’s program.
Making her first start in two months, Sulis was a comfortable 2 3/4-length winner in a 1 1/16-mile first-level allowance for 3-year-olds and up.
“I’ve always thought she was a pretty nice filly,” Doyle said. “She’s a June foal; she only actually just turned 3 a couple of months ago.
“I think she’ll be better next year as a 4-year-old.”
Points of Grace drills for Canadian
With the Grade 1 Woodbine Mile and the Grade 1 Northern Dancer headlining Sunday’s card, the Canadian Stakes winds up playing third fiddle.
The Grade 2, $300,000 Canadian is a prize well worth winning, however, and trainer Malcolm Pierce is taking dead aim at the 1 1/8-mile filly and mare turf race with Points of Grace.
“It looks like she’s on target,” said Pierce, who sent out Points of Grace to breeze five furlongs in 1:00.60 here Sunday.
Much Obliged, also trained by Pierce and nominated to the Canadian, breezed five furlongs in 1:01.40 in a separate move.
“We were looking for another spot for her, but she could run here,” Pierce said.
Other Canadian candidates who breezed five furlongs included Miss Keller and Magic Broomstick.
Miss Keller, trained by Attfield, went in 1:01, while Magic Broomstick, conditioned by Mark Frostad, was clocked in 1:00.80.
Magic Broomstick worked in company with stablemate Windward Islands, who is headed for the $750,000 Northern Dancer at 1 1/2 miles on the turf.
Fifty Proof set for Northern Dancer
Fifty Proof, who was scratched from second-level optional claimer that came off the turf Sunday, is now slated to make his stakes debut in the Northern Dancer.
Trained by Ian Black, Fifty Proof was a front-running winner in a first-level allowance over 1 1/4 miles of turf here Aug. 8 and breezed five furlongs in a bullet 59.40 seconds Sunday.
Fifty Proof also is nominated to the Woodbine Mile.
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