08/25/2009 11:00PM

Ghost Fleet gives turf a try


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Ghost Fleet, perhaps the best 2-year-old to have competed at Woodbine this year, will experiment on the grass Friday in the allowance prep for the Grade 3 Summer Stakes.

Ghost Fleet was to have debuted on the grass July 18, but he failed to draw into that race, and ended up making his first start on Polytrack the next day under Todd Kabel. He stalked the leaders along the inside in that 5 1/2-furlong maiden special before mowing down pacemaker Waldheim in late stretch to prevail in 1:04.24.

Trainer Sid Attard said he had anticipated a good debut effort from Ghost Fleet.

"He's a nice horse," said Attard. "When Todd Kabel worked him, he loved him. He's a good size. He looks like a 3-year-old. He's got a good temperament. Nothing gets him excited."

Ghost Fleet went off as the favorite among a good field of Ontario-breds most recently in the six-furlong Vandal Stakes. After tracking the leaders on the outside, he took control on the turn and then drew away in the stretch to score by 4 3/4 lengths. His time of 1:09.64 translated into an 82 Beyer Speed Figure.

Attard said he has no reservations about the change in surfaces for Ghost Fleet, a son of successful turf sire Arch and the good turf-producing mare Destroy.

"I think he's going to love the grass," Attard said. "I worked him on it before he ran, and he worked very good. He went [five-eighths] in a minute and change, and galloped out a good seven-eighths. As far as the distance goes, the longer, the better. I think he can run all day."

Among the others entered in the seven-furlong race are Takiddm, Ruhtro, and Stormy Lord.

Takiddm rallied belatedly for second in the Vandal, when an apparent outside bias aided both him and Ghost Fleet.

Ruhtro overcame some traffic problems when he graduated second time out on the grass. He was awarded a 72 Beyer in that six-furlong maiden race.

Stormy Lord rallied from well back to win his debut going six furlongs on the grass, and received a 75 Beyer. He saved ground en route to a fifth-place finish in the Vandal.

* Stars Brew heads the second race on the card, a seven-furlong allowance on turf, which serves as the prep for the Grade 3 Natalma Stakes on Sept. 19, the same day as the Summer.