08/12/2009 11:00PM

Ginger Brew challenges Smart Surprise on Polytrack


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Smart Surprise has been the queen of the castle when it comes to older fillies mares on Polytrack at Woodbine this year.

But there will be a new princess in the mix here Saturday as Ginger Brew, who was Canada's champion 3-year-old filly last season, will be returning to the synthetic surface in the 1 1/8-mile Belle Mahone.

The Belle Mahone, a $100,000 overnight stakes, attracted a field of six, and Smart Surprise will be seeking her fourth consecutive stakes win after capturing the 6 1/2-furlong Hendrie, the 1 1/16-mile Hill 'n' Dale, and the 1 1/16-mile Ontario Matron.

Ginger Brew, a Stronach Stable homebred, raced on turf and dirt in Florida last winter before returning to Woodbine and finishing a solid second behind the up-and-coming Points of Grace in the Grade 2 Dance Smartly over 1 1/8 miles of turf.

While she ran in the Dance Smartly under the name of trainer Bobby Frankel, Ginger Brew will be reunited officially with Brian Lynch for the Belle Mahone.

Last year, Lynch sent out Ginger Brew to win the 1 1/8-mile Woodbine Oaks and seven-furlong Jammed Lovely and to finish second in the Queen's Plate at 1 1/4 miles. Her only other start on Polytrack was a win in her seasonal bow in October 2007.

"I don't think the surface has ever been a real question with her," said Lynch. "She's sort of handled whatever we put her on.

"I love the way she's going into this race. I'm superconfident she's going to show up for us."

Smart Surprise, a Kentucky-bred 5-year-old trained by Josie Carroll., was supplemented to the Belle Mahone at a cost of $2,000.

"We were looking at a couple of other spots, to try to get some more graded black type for her," said Carroll. "But when it looked like it was going to be a short field, we decided to stay for this race instead."

Rounding out the Belle Mahone field are the multiple stake winners Tell It As It Is and Arden Belle, who were the two-three finishers in the Ontario Matron; Simply Splendid, who became a stakes winner in the seven-furlong Sweet Briar Too last time out; and Mekong Melody, who has run through her first two allowance conditions in her only appearances here.

Serenading looks fine in workout

Serenading, who won last year's Belle Mahone for Carroll, breezed four furlongs in 48.00 seconds here Wednesday in her first workout since finishing fourth in the Ontario Matron.

The Ontario Matron was the second straight disappointing effort for Serenading following a sixth-place finish in the Arlington Matron.

"She came out of the Chicago race really jammed up after stumbling at the start," said Carroll. "She seemed okay, but coming out of her last race she was the same way.

"She breezed well; it shouldn't take long for her to come to hand."

Champs Elysees will stay put

Champs Elysees and Fifteen Love, a pair of Frankel-trained horses owned and bred by Juddmonte Farms, are here with Lynch with an eye on upcoming stakes events.

Making his first start in almost three months, Champs Elysees finished a well-beaten third in the Grade 2 Nijinsky over 1 3/8 miles of soft turf here July 26.

"He'll stay here and campaign towards the Canadian International," said Lynch, a former Frankel assistant.

Champs Elysees, a 6-year-old horse, finished third in last year's Grade 1 Canadian International after winning the Grade 1 Northern Dancer over the same 1 1/2 miles of turf.

The next stop here on the road to this year's Oct. 17 Canadian International is next Sunday's Grade 2, $250,000 Sky Classic at 1 3/8 miles on the turf course.

The $750,000 Northern Dancer will be run on Sept. 20, Woodbine Mile Day.

Play the King next for Fifteen Love

Lynch said he believes he could have a Woodbine Mile horse in his barn in Fifteen Love, a 4-year-old colt who finished second when making his local bow in a $100,000 optional claiming race at one mile on the grass.

Fifteen Love won four races in England, including a pair of lucrative handicaps, but had disappointed in three North American appearances prior to coming to Woodbine and racing with blinkers for the first time.

"We got a race into him, and now he's headed for the Play the King," said Lynch.

The Grade 2, $200,000 Play the King, a seven-furlong turf race here Aug. 29, is the major local prep for the Grade 1, $1 million Woodbine Mile.

Rahy's Attorney will try longer

Rahy's Attorney, winner of the 1 1/8-mile King Edward and the 1 1/4-mile Nijinsky in his last two starts here, is slated to have his final prep for the Woodbine Mile in the Sky Classic.

"He's a gelding; it's not like we have to protect him in any way," said trainer Ian Black. "We might as well find out if he can go that far with better horses. If he can, he'll have a lot more opportunities."

Next race unclear for Hollywood Hit

Hollywood Hit, making his second start for trainer Terry Jordan, blazed the way to a four-length victory in an open six-furlong allowance race for 3-year-olds here Wednesday night.

With jockey Jim McAleney in the irons, Hollywood Hit stopped the clock in 1:08.59 and earned a career-high Beyer Speed Figure of 104.

"I know he's pretty fast but how long he will carry it, I don't know," said Jordan.

Jordan is unsure of what will be the next stage for Hollywood Hit, who was purchased privately in Texas this spring for owner Peter Redekop.

"Honestly, I'm not sure if there's much of a path to follow with this guy," said the trainer. "I'm not much of a traveling guy. We'll stay here for now and see what comes up."