09/11/2015 10:46AM

Calgary Cat seeks repeat in Bold Venture

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Michael Burns
Calgary Cat wins the 2014 Bold Venture Stakes by 3 lengths.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Reigning Canadian champion male sprinter Calgary Cat will try to win the Grade 3, $150,000 Bold Venture Stakes for the second year in a row on the Woodbine Mile undercard Sunday.

Calgary Cat found the mark April 26 in the Jacques Cartier Stakes following a five-month layoff. He bounced three weeks later when fifth as the heavy favorite in the Grade 3 Vigil but then rebounded by beating a sharp Phil’s Dream in the Achievement Stakes.

Calgary Cat doubled up most recently in the six-furlong Ontario Jockey Club Stakes and has continued to thrive, according to trainer Kevin Attard.

“He’s had two breezes since the Jockey Club,” said Attard. “He’s happy. He seems to be coming into the race in good order.”

Attard said he believes Calgary Cat is about as good this year as he was during his championship season.

“He’s done everything right apart from the Vigil,” Attard said. “That day, I think he just came back a little too soon off that hard-fought win in the Jacques Cartier.”

Five others were entered in the 6 1/2-furlong Bold Venture, including two-time Canadian champion sprinter Essence Hit Man.

Bold Venture, Race 3

KEY CONTENDERS

Calgary Cat (Last 3 Beyers: 96-98-77)

◗ Attard is always concerned with getting the right pace scenario for the flashy closer and is optimistic that the pace will be to his benefit on Sunday.

“It looks like the race is shaping up with some speed,” Attard said. “That’s the key.”

Essence Hit Man (Last 3 Beyers: 89-103-98)

◗ The 8-year-old millionaire had been sidelined for nearly two years before finishing second after setting a slow pace in the Ontario Jockey Club. He has since breezed five-eighths in a bullet 59.60 seconds.

Stacked Deck (Last 3 Beyers: 81-96-92)

◗ The front-runner won a third-level optional claimer on Polytrack in the spring before a commendable third in the Grade 2 King Edward on grass. After leading throughout the allowance prep for the Grade 2 Play the King, he was softened up in a speed duel with Bobby’s Kitten in the Play the King itself.

◗ Trainer Barb Minshall said going back to Polytrack shouldn’t be a problem for the 4-year-old.

“He might be better on the Poly,” Minshall said. “He’s doing well. His last race just didn’t work out.”

:: Woodbine Mile: Get PPs, watch Sunday’s card live

Speightsong (Last 3 Beyers: 88-94-63)

◗ He chased Calgary Cat home when third in the Achievement and fourth in the Ontario Jockey Club.

“He’s doing good,” said trainer Malcolm Pierce. “He had a really good work last week. We’re going to take a look at the race and see. I’m always afraid of Calgary Cat.”