10/12/2006 11:00PM

Debut winners take next step on new surface


Debut winners Mike Fox and Leonnatus Anteas both move to the turf for their second start Sunday to contest the $250,000 Cup and Saucer Stakes at Woodbine.

Mike Fox, a son of popular young sire Giant's Causeway, is the first foal from Alexis, who won the Grade 3 Dance Smartly Handicap here on the grass in 2001. Mike Fox won his debut in a mile and 70-yard maiden special on Polytrack Sept. 3. He dueled through moderate fractions and scored by a half-length over Angel of the House and Skip Code, who subsequently won his maiden and Monday's Grade 3 Grey BC Cup Stakes.

"I've been high on him from Day 1," said Reade Baker, who trains Mike Fox. "He's a grand-looking horse, with a ton of pedigree. I didn't think he'd lose. I wanted to run him in the Grey Stakes, but I couldn't, because it was only a week before this race. There was no [allowance] prep for this race."

After the Cup and Saucer, Baker said he is planning to run Mike Fox in the $250,000 Coronation Futurity over nine furlongs on Polytrack Nov. 5.

"We think he can beat any horse on the grounds."

Leonnatus Anteas rallied down the center of the track in his debut to capture the restricted Vandal Stakes going five furlongs on the inner dirt track Aug. 13.

Trainer Kevin Attard said Leonnatus Anteas had trained encouragingly before the Vandal, and he was impressed by the performance.

"He had a tough trip," Attard said. "All six horses in the field left the gate running, and he was parked wide. Heading into the turn, they all spread across the track. He was five or six wide going into the turn and lost position, but all of a sudden, he went from last to first. They kind of stopped up front, and the final time wasn't that good, but the way he did it was impressive."

Attard said Leonnatus Anteas, a son of Stormy Atlantic, has the build of a router.

"He's a big, loping type, over 16 hands," Attard said. "He looks like a two-turn horse, and pedigree-wise, he's a two-turn horse, too."

Baker also entered Fire Rock in the race for Canadian-breds. A son of successful turf sire Langfuhr, Fire Rock rallied strongly from mid-pack to win a five-furlong maiden special on the Polytrack Oct. 1.

Ice Bear and Lifes Not a Breeze are both making their first start on grass, but they have excellent pedigrees for the surface.