08/20/2009 12:00AM

Double Malt goes turf to Poly


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Double Malt will take her act from turf to the Polytrack on Saturday at Woodbine in the $125,000 Eternal Search Stakes, a 1 1/16-mile event that has lured just four other Ontario-sired 3-year-old fillies.

Double Malt won her first stakes going long in November, the restricted South Ocean. She got the winter off, and was aimed towards the $503,200 Woodbine Oaks on June 7. She trailed in the Oaks, but fared much better in the second leg of the Canadian triple tiara, the Bison City Stakes, checking in 2 1/2 lengths behind the winner in fifth.

Double Malt tried the turf for the first time July 22 in the Passing Mood Stakes. She rallied wide from fifth to win that seven-furlong sprint for Ontario-sired 3-year-old fillies by a half-length over Executive Deed.

Trainer Malcolm Pierce said he skipped the Victoriana Stakes on turf last Sunday in order to keep Double Malt with her own age group.

"We passed the Victoriana to run against straight 3-year-old fillies here, because I don't think the turf made any difference to her," said Pierce. "I know that she won on the grass last time, but she handles the Poly just fine."

Pierce said he regrets pointing Double Malt toward the prestigious Woodbine Oaks.

"Probably the worst thing that she did last year was win the South Ocean," Pierce said. "It put us on the Oaks trail, which we probably didn't belong in. We finally got off that route after the Bison City, and put her back with her own kind - Ontario-sired fillies. She's pretty useful against them."

Lunar Linda wound up second in the South Ocean, but wasn't an impact player in her next five outings. She ran second on the grass in her next-to-last start, and is coming off a decisive score in an Ontario-sired allowance.

Trainer Ian Black said it took a while for Lunar Linda to come around this year.

"Running her at the wrong distances was a factor, too," Black said. "Her last race was good. She's fairly fresh and in good order. This is a nice opportunity to run her against straight 3-year-olds."

Dancing Charm helped to set a moderate pace before fading to third in an open first-level allowance Aug. 7. She was previously seventh in both the Passing Mood and Bison City.

Moonlit Beauty and Cataleenda round out the field.