04/21/2010 11:00PM

Cliff Cottage gets class test


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - The unbeaten Cliff Cottage will have another acid test Saturday at Woodbine when he moves up to first-level allowance company in the featured eighth race.

A 5-year-old trained by Mark Casse, Cliff Cottage debuted Jan. 16 at Tampa Bay Downs and won a $12,500 maiden claimer. A month later, he defeated $16,000 nonwinners-of-two claimers. Both races were at seven furlongs on dirt.

Following a six-week break, Cliff Cottage won a $20,000 starter allowance here April 2 after setting slow fractions. For covering seven furlongs on the Polytrack in 1:23.65, he was awarded a Beyer Speed Figure of 74. That number is well below the Beyer par for this level (85), but this group isn't all that tough, and it may take only an 80 Beyer to get the job done, which is definitely within Cliff Cottage's range if he continues to improve.

Patrick Husbands, who has a win from four mounts at the meet for Casse, has the call on Cliff Cottage.

Seven of the 10 entrants in Saturday's race will be making their first starts of the year, including Lord of Greatness, Bear's Conductor, and Flip for the Coin.

Lord of Greatness was in good form when he was claimed by Tucci Stable for $40,000 from a third-place finish last July. In his only subsequent outing, on Aug. 1, he came from the back of the pack to win a quality $62,500 claimer that has produced a trio of next-start winners.

David Clark will ride Lord of Greatness, who has been working on a regular schedule for trainer Sid Attard.

Bear's Conductor, the runner-up to Mine That Bird in the Grade 3 Grey Stakes in 2008, missed the board in all three of his 2009 appearances. He finished four lengths back in fifth in his most recent race Oct. 25, in a fast allowance that yielded next-out winners General Brock and Jet Set Exec.

Leading rider Eurico Da Silva has the mount on Bear's Conductor, who has been breezing quickly here on dirt and the Polytrack. His trainer, Reade Baker, has been winning at a 21 percent clip with six-month-plus comebackers.

Flip for the Coin ran in all three legs of the 2009 Canadian Triple Crown, finishing fifth in the Queen's Plate, sixth in the Prince of Wales Stakes, and 10th in the Breeders' Stakes. A route expert, he is seemingly prepping for a two-turn engagement.