09/14/2017 1:26PM

Circle of Friends back on short rest for Bold Venture

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Michael Burns
Ontario Jockey Club winner Circle of Friends returns on short rest in Saturday's Bold Venture Stakes.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario – Circle of Friends, fresh off his first defeat of the year in the Sept. 4 King Corrie Stakes, returns on short rest Saturday in the Grade 3, $125,000 Bold Venture Stakes over 6 1/2 furlongs on Woodbine’s Tapeta.

Going into the King Corrie, 3-year-old Circle of Friends was unbeaten in four starts in 2017, including a win July 14 in the Ontario Jockey Club over six furlongs on Tapeta. He wound up fourth in the King Corrie behind winner Yorkton, and did not show his familiar late kick in the stretch.

The Bold Venture will be the third time Circle of Friends has faced older horses. He beat older horses in a six-furlong allowance here in May and a 6 1/2-furlong optional claimer in June.

Eurico Da Silva retains the mount for trainer Robert Tiller.

KEY CONTENDERS

Circle of Friends, by Midnight Lute
Last 3 Beyers: 82-93-90

◗ If he can overcome the quick comeback, the race should set up nicely for Circle of Friends, who has drawn the outside post in the field of seven. In his four wins this year, he’s benefited by stalking quick paces and making his move in the stretch.

Good Bye Greg, by Teuflesberg
Last 3 Beyers: 93-93-91

◗ The Arlington Park shipper brings a three-race win streak with him to Woodbine in search of his first stakes victory.

◗ He appears to be the likely pacesetter, and has won at Woodbine, although that victory came over the old Polytrack main track.

Unbridled Juan, by Unbridled’s Song
Last 3 Beyers: 86-95-88

◗ Fourth in the Grade 2 Seagram Cup Stakes over 1 1/16 miles on Tapeta on Aug. 13, Unbridled Juan will run in a sprint race for the first time since his career debut at Gulfstream Park in February 2015, when he was third in a six-furlong dirt contest.

◗ His dam, Sugar Swirl, was a multiple graded stakes winner sprinting, and two other siblings have won sprinting.

Puntrooskie, by In Summation
Last 3 Beyers: 85-81-89

◗ Puntrooskie will be looking to win the Bold Venture Stakes for the second consecutive year after recording a half-length victory over 2016 Canadian champion male sprinter Noholdingback Bear in last year’s edition of the race.

◗ Puntrooskie is winless in four starts this year, including two runner-up finishes. After a freshening, he returned to run fifth behind Ikerrin Road in a seven-furlong optional claimer on Aug. 20.