10/11/2009 11:00PM

Big weekend points Baker to Cup


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Fatal Bullet earned a return trip to the Breeders' Cup with his victory in last Friday's Grade 3 Phoenix at Keeneland for trainer Reade Baker.

And, after sweeping the 1 1/16-mile weekend stakes for 2-year-olds here with Bear Tough Guy and Biofuel, it appeared that Baker could have another pair of Breeders' Cup candidates.

Plans for Bear Tough Guy were on hold Monday, however, after the colt emerged from his Grey win with some filling in an ankle.

"I don't know what his status is right now," said Baker, who trains Bear Tough Guy, Fatal Bullet, and a host of other runners for the Bear Stable of Danny Dion.

Bear Tough Guy, a Kentucky-bred, staked a claim for a shot at the Breeders' Cup Juvenile with a neck victory in Sunday's Grade 3, $255,900 Grey.

Biofuel, a Kentucky-bred who races for her owner and breeder Brereton C. Jones, burst into the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies picture with her 4 1/2-length win in Saturday's Grade 3, $241,200 Mazarine.

Bear Tough Guy, a $27,000 purchase in Ocala this April, was making just his second start in the Grey.

"He was in at the track early and going good," Baker said. "But he had a lot of trouble with mucus; it was a real battle getting rid of it. We shipped him to the farm, and it finally cleared up."

When Bear Tough Guy was finally ready to start, Baker was not fussy about the details. The first available opportunity was a one-mile turf race, and that's where Bear Tough Guy went.

"I saw the race and I just wanted to run him," Baker said.

Bear Tough Guy did his part when prevailing by a hard-fought neck following a less than ideal journey.

"I thought he ran super - a green horse, running that far, and getting in trouble for a sixteenth of a mile," Baker said. "He's a big, tough guy; he runs like his name."

While his Grey trip was less eventful, Bear Tough Guy still earned full marks for defeating six more experienced rivals.

"It was a lot to expect," Baker said. "You see horses come back from one start and jump into a stakes, and usually they're an abject failure.

"I think he's a pretty nice horse, and he got a great ride."

Eurico Rosa da Silva, who rode the three Baker stakes winners, made his Breeders' Cup debut last year with an eighth-place finish aboard Bear Now in the Ladies' Classic and second-place finish aboard Fatal Bullet in the Sprint.

Biofuel had raced three times prior to her Mazarine romp.

After winning her debut in a maiden race over six furlongs, Biofuel finished a closing fourth in a difficult renewal of the six-furlong Ontario Debutante and seventh in the Grade 3 Natalma over one mile of turf.

"She had legitimate excuses in her last two starts," Baker said. "She doesn't want to sprint with those types of horses and she doesn't want to turf."

It certainly would appear that Biofuel found her calling around two turns, however, as she trailed through the first six furlongs of the Mazarine before launching a move which carried her to her emphatic victory.

"I thought it was a super race," Baker said. "She's a nice, healthy sound filly who actually probably has worked a little better on the [dirt] training track."

Locals work for Saturday stakes

Jungle Wave and Grand Adventure, tuning up for Saturday's Grade 2 Nearctic, both worked over the main track here Sunday morning.

The $500,000 Nearctic, a six-furlong stakes race for 3-year-olds and up, will play a supporting role on a program that includes the Canadian International and E.P. Taylor Stakes.

Jungle Wave, who stalked the pace before weakening to finish fourth in the Woodbine Mile, breezed four furlongs in 47.60 seconds.

Grand Adventure, who set the pace before faltering to end 10th in the Woodbine Mile, breezed five furlongs in 1:01 under Patrick Husbands, who has picked up the mount for the Nearctric.

Field Commission, beaten 4 1/2 lengths as the sixth-place finisher in the Woodbine Mile, also is Nearctic-bound and worked four furlongs in 49.80 here Monday.

Legal Move, who was beaten three lengths as the closing fourth-place finisher in the Grade 3 Highlander over six furlongs of turf here June 21, breezed four furlongs in a bullet 47 seconds in his major prep for the Nearctic.

Chantal Sutherland, who was aboard for the drill, has the call on Legal Move and also will ride Roses 'n' Wine in the E.P. Taylor.

Roses 'n' Wine, coming off an 8 3/4-length romp in the 1 1/16-mile Algoma here Sept. 7, also breezed on Sunday, going five furlongs in 1:02.20.

"With her pedigree, placing in a Grade 1 would mean a lot," said David Bell, who trains the Ontario-bred 4-year-old for Firestone Farm. "And she finished second at 1 1/4 miles on turf last year."

That placing came in the Wonder Where, a stakes for Canadian-bred 3-year-old fillies that was run on a yielding course.

Bell sent out Fly for Avie to upset the 2000 edition of the E.P. Taylor.

Hollywood Hit banned after positive

Hollywood Hit, winner of the King Corrie Stakes in his last start here Sept. 30, has been banned from racing in Ontario for 90 days after testing positive for the Class 3 drug acepromazine. Other jurisdictions are expected to honor the ban, which began Friday and runs through Jan. 6, 2010.

Terry Jordan, who trains Hollywood Hit for Peter Redekop, has until early next week to agree to a date for a hearing but can continue to enter horses until the matter has been resolved.

Trainer Gary Aimonetti was involved in a similar case here this year after Yukari, second-place finisher in the fourth race on May 31, tested positive for acepromazine. Yukari was barred for 90 days, and Aimonetti lost an appeal over the length of that suspension.

Following a hearing on Aug. 12, Aimonetti received a 45-day suspension and a $1,000 fine, and Yukari was disqualified from her share of the purse.

Acepromazine is a sedative widely used for training and shipping purposes.