09/10/2008 11:00PM

Ginger Brew pointing to Carotene


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - Ginger Brew, who was given a break after finishing a close second to Not Bourbon in the June 22 Queen's Plate, is back at Woodbine preparing for a fall campaign.

Ginger Brew, a Stronach Stable homebred, had romped by six lengths in the 1 1/8-mile Woodbine Oaks just two weeks prior to her taxing effort in the 1 1/4-mile Queen's Plate.

"She's about a week away from having a breeze," said trainer Brian Lynch on Thursday morning. "I imagine she's going to come around pretty quickly, because I've had her in training at the farm."

Lynch, who divides his time between the Stronach Stable runners here and at nearby Adena Springs North, is aiming Ginger Brew for the $150,000 Carotene, a 1 1/8-mile turf race for Ontario-foaled 3-year-old fillies here Oct. 11.

The Carotene would be Ginger Brew's third start in Canada this season, which is the minimum requirement for Sovereign Award consideration.

Lynch struck with the second member of his brew crew here Wednesday night when Jungle Brew, also a Stronach homebred, captured a 1 1/16-mile first-level allowance by 1 3/4 lengths under rider Patrick Husbands.

"I thought he might have done it a little easier than he did," said Lynch. "Patrick said he was a little silly going into the gate. He tried to rear up, and that upset him a little bit. It took him a little bit of time to settle.

"He's only a lightly raced horse," said Lynch. "He's probably just learning as he goes. I'll just let him get some experience, and keep stepping through his conditions."

Asmussen has contenders in both stakes

The juvenile divisions will be in the spotlight here Sunday with the Grade 3, $150,000 Natalma, a one-mile turf race for fillies, and the $150,000 Swynford, a seven-furlong race on the main track, forming a stakes doubleheader.

The Natalma, despite its designation as a Breeders' Cup Win and You're In race, attracted just one possible shipper, Vegas Wedding, who is based at Saratoga with trainer Linda Rice.

Vegas Wedding is cross-entered Saturday at Belmont Park in the Grade 2, $250,000 Matron, a seven-furlong race on the dirt.

Locals will complete the 11-horse Natalma field, and the six-horse Swynford will be an all-local affair.

The Steve Asmussen barn, which already has captured two 2-year-old filly stakes here with Juliet's Spirit, has candidates for both the Natalma and Swynford.

Poppin, a sharp maiden winner at six furlongs on turf here Aug. 15, will be the Asmussen outfit's Natalma entrant, while Dryden, coming off a third-place finish in the 6 1/2-furlong Silver Deputy on Aug. 23, will be the barn's Swynford starter.

Poppin, Koonunga Hill, and Lady Shakespeare are the only Natalma entrants who have won on the turf, and Poppin's Beyer Speed Figure of 77 is the highest of the trio.

"She ran a good race, in very good time," said assistant trainer Darren Fleming, Asmussen's man on the spot at Woodbine. "I think she'll handle the mile. We've tried to get her to relax a little bit."

Dryden was making his third start in the Silver Deputy. He won going five furlongs at first asking, and finished second to leading local 2-year-old Southern Exchange in the six-furlong Colin.

"I think the added distance will help him," said Fleming. "He's acting like he wanted to settle. He's a pretty steady horse."

Baker has three runners for two stakes

Trainer Reade Baker also will be represented in both Sunday stakes, with Triple Flip set for the Natalma and Bear's Conductor and Lord of Greatness entered in the Swynford.

Triple Flip, who was supplemented to the Natalma at a cost of $3,000, ran fifth at five furlongs on Polytrack in her debut and then was a closing fourth in a seven-furlong turf race.

"The race sounded like it wasn't coming up as tough as it could have, so I thought I'd take a shot," Baker said of the Natalma. "She'll have blinkers off, and [Eurico Rosa] Da Silva on."

Both of Baker's Swynford contestants are coming off their maiden victories.

Bear's Conductor, a Kentucky-bred who was a $52,000 yearling purchase, scored at seven furlongs in his second career outing here Aug. 10. Lord of Greatness, a $55,000 yearling, graduated at first asking at six furlongs on Aug. 15.

"I don't know if he's the same horse as Bear's Conductor, or whether he'll like the seven-eighths as much, but we're going to give it a shot," said Baker.

Ring of Greatness, claimed for $40,000 by Baker from a winning debut at five furlongs here Aug. 2, was nominated to the Swynford but will not be in the lineup. He most recently finished sixth after a bad start as the 3-5 favorite in the $100,000 Charles Town Juvenile, a 4 1/2-furlong race on Aug. 23.

"I don't think he's a seven-eighths horse," said Baker.

Grazettes Landing preps for Overskate

Grazettes Landing, winner of his last three starts, breezed five furlongs here Thursday and is scheduled to make his next appearance in next Saturday's $125,000 Overskate, a seven-furlong stakes restricted to Ontario-breds.

Grazettes Landing, a homebred 3-year-old gelding, began his streak with an impressive seven-furlong maiden win and rolled through her first two allowance conditions with sharp scores at 6 1/2 and six furlongs.

"I think seven furlongs is his best distance," said trainer Mark Casse.

Legal Move, a 4-year-old colt owned by Woodford Racing LLC, also is nominated to the Overskate but may not participate.

"I don't know if Legal Move's going to run or not," said Casse. "Seven furlongs might be a little beyond his reach."

Legal Move is scheduled to sell at Keeneland this November. "All of my Woodford horses have to be sold at the end of their 4-year-old years," said Casse. "That's in the agreement."